Hog farm destroyed near Conger

Published 4:41 pm Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just west of Conger, Stacy and Doug Steele’s 3,400-head hog farm was destroyed by Thursday’s tornadoes. Most of the pigs and the family’s house were among the only few things standing Friday morning.

Doug was watching the storm from an upstairs window when he saw dark funnel clouds swirling up and down. He moved to the basement with his wife and three young sons before the tornado hit, destroying buildings and equipment.

“We heard the shattering of glass,” Stacy said. “I thought the whole roof was blown off.”

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The roof stayed intact as did the rest of the home’s structure. Beams from a barn were blown into the front of the house and a hole was punctured right behind the headboard of a child’s bed.

The farm’s holding bin for 3,500 bushels of grain was found crushed, a half mile away in a field.

The hog finishing barn that held 2,200 hogs was destroyed. About 20 hogs were either dead or missing and the rest stood unpenned on concrete slabs.

The house sustained no major structural damage. Broken glass from shattered windows filled the living and dining rooms, scattered around toys still in the same place their boys left them. The house was saved because all the trees on the property fell away from it.