After hiding in the basement at my home in the Alkali Creek area with my family, I ventured out to cover the aftermath of Sunday's storm. After hearing a few comments on the police scanner about damage to the Rimrock Auto Arena, I decided to drive straight there. I drove through piles of debris before parking in the lot on the north side of the building. I anxiously waited for an hour for the rain to stop before I could get outside and shoot photos. When the downpour finally stopped, I got out and experienced an eery feeling as pieces of the building lay in every direction, some pieces of roofing bent around light poles, large trees uprooted. The sound of alarms inside the building added to the spooky scene that I photographed for the next several hours. I eventually toured the outside of the arena, as well as the Montana Pavilion, and the Expo Center with County Commissioners Bill Kennedy and John Ostlund, as well as members of the Metra staff.
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Being the sports photographer at the Gazette, I was saddened at the scene of the building I visit often and have spent so much time in. Just the night prior to the tornado, I was inside with 3,800 Outlaws fans. I think we are all thankful that no events were planned for this June Sunday. I have listed many events in my mind, that are usually held in the arena, that might be affected by the destruction, including the PBR, high school graduations, the NILE Invitational Rodeo, the Chase Hawks rodeo, state wrestling, state basketball tournaments, Outlaws home games, concerts, the Jehovah's Witnesses convention, Women in Faith convention, the fair, the M.A.T.E., the home improvement show, and I am sure many many more events. It was truly a devastating day for our city.