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Merrill tornado taught lessons to business, residents

Awareness week has new significance for victims

8:01 PM, Apr. 17, 2013
The living and dining area of the Barbara and John Brieden town of Merrill home is exposed to the sky after a tornado ripped through Merrill in 2011.
The living and dining area of the Barbara and John Brieden town of Merrill home is exposed to the sky after a tornado ripped through Merrill in 2011.
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When Northern Wire in Merrill held its industry-required tornado drill two years ago, many employees viewed it as a short break from work.

Not anymore. Not since an F3 tornado with wind speeds approaching 200 mph destroyed the front office of the building at 1100 W. Taylor St., ripped off the roof and shell of the building and damaged equipment April 10, 2011, causing an estimated $1.3 million in damage to Northern Wire and $11 million in damage to the area as a whole.

"Before, the drill was almost seen as kind of fun, a break from work," Human Resources Manager Jennifer Berreth said. "There's a lot ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports