Tornado Kills Parkersburg Woman, Severely Injures Husband

By Josh Hinkle, Anchor/Reporter


By Josh Hinkle

PARKERSBURG - Arielle Meyer flew in from Texas when she heard about the EF5 tornado that hit her grandparents' house. The last time she saw them was Christmas.

Meyer says, "The worst part was thinking I'll never see her again. And that chance is over."

Now, she and her siblings only have their memories and a few salvaged items sifted from the debris. They pulled a wedding photo from the basement, the same place other family members found their grandmother, Shirley Luhring, dead. Their grandfather is now at University Hospitals recovering.

Their son-in-law, Lonnie Wright, says, "He's thankful to be alive, and he's very happy for his blessings. And at the same time, he knows he's lost his love."

The tornado fractured two vertebrae in Herman Luhring's neck, plus his hand. Firefighters say the tornado in Parkersburg hit hardest here, leaving nothing above the basement.

When you look at it, Herman Luhring is very lucky to be alive. Not only did he lose his wife, but the tornado also ripped his next door neighbors, Richard and Ethel Mulder, right out of their home. Family first found Ethel Mulder dead in her yard.

Their son, Rod Mulder, says, "Then they said they couldn't find dad. He was thrown away, too, a couple hundred feet away from the house."

That couple never made it to the basement. The Luhrings did, but it didn't save them both. Meyer says her grandfather only hopes now to get out of the hospital in time to attend his wife's funeral.

"He goes, 'Okay, God took her home. It was time, and soon I'll be there with her.'"

Email Josh Hinkle at

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