Cedar Rapids Xavier Grad in the Eye of the Tornado


By Liz Mathis

As the storm was approaching Thursday evening, University of Iowa student Liz Saxen was playing cards with a good friend who was visiting her that night.

She was in her bedroom on the third floor of her Alpha Chi Omega sorority house. She heard sirens go off, felt the strong winds shake the house and started heading for cover. As they left the third floor and made it to the second, they ducked inside an enclosed phone booth.

She heard a deafening roar and could hear things hitting the wall next to them. She and her friend clung to each other as the tornado vortex rolled through. After that, she heard another friend call out for help, so she found her and started inspecting what was left of their house.

The following pages are her eyewitness account of the storm and its remnants. Liz's mother and father are helping her restore what's left of her belongings. With finals just weeks away, she's now trying to locate notes and textbooks to study.

We wish the best to Liz and the women of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority in the coming weeks and long months ahead as they try to restore their home in Iowa City.

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