Saturday, August 22, 2009

Here's what happened.....

It's Wednesday evening about 5:40. After the first day of school, myself and two coworkers decide to head to the local pub for half price appetizers. We share some appetizers and a cocktail and head back home. I got home about 7:20. Hubby had just gotten home from golf and my daughter and son-in-l;aw were over. They were all out in the pole barn which is affectionately known as "manland". It started to rain really hard. I called the house phone from my cell to have my daughter who was in the house to close the windows. Hubby didn't here me do this and runs to the house to close them. It is at this point that the tv screen goes gray and a tornado warning comes on. It is approximately 7:30. I walk over to the overhead door and can't believe my eyes. I hear my daughter say "oh shit" and I see why. Right over the clearing of trees above the house across the street is a massive funnel cloud that is sucking up everything in it's path. I could have stood and watched it forever. It was that cool. But, terror kicked in and the three of us ran for the house with the patio table and umbrella (now blown straight up and inside out) falling over on us as we go by. Son-in-law shoved it back up and we made it to the door. I expected to find hubby and daughter in the kitchen waiting for us, but neither of them was there. I start screaming for them. Hubby finally appears and tells me to stop yelling at him. I keep yelling and tell him to get his ass in the basement because there is a tornado outside. I'm still screaming for the daughter who has yet to appear in the kitchen. I'm running to the back of the house and she finally appears. We are all finally running down the basement stairs when the power goes out. Did you ever try to get five adults down the stairs in the dark? Brave soul at the back of the line (ME!) heads to the back of the kitchen for the flashlight. I get back to the stairs, turn it on and get down two steps and it's perfectly quiet. It's over! I know this probably sounds like it was ten minutes long, but it really only took a couple minutes at best. We stand there for a couple seconds to be sure and head back upstairs.
We had a tree down on the fence in the backyard. Part of a tree down in the front yard and debris all over the yard. The patio umbrella was toast. That made me sad because it took me a long time to find that umbrella and I loved it. We didn't have power. We would get that back about 10:00 the next morning. I looked down the street because my brother lives a block away from us. There was a huge tree that had fallen across the road and it looked like it was on his house. I took off running. Happily, I found him outside his house drinking a beer. The tree had fallen just across the street. It missed him by probably 20 feet.
Now, if you go down one more block, the destruction was massive. Hundred year old trees lifted up by their roots and turned over onto houses and garages. Blown out windows and siding peeled off the houses. It looked like a war zone. This missed us by two blocks! If you go two blocks north, the entire roof was lifted off the townhouses that my sister lived in before she bought her house.
One of the girls I was out with wasn't so lucky. She got home just in time too. They had so much damage. They lost two vehicles, a barn, the kids playscape and their new pool. Not to mention the shingles off the roof.
The amazing thing about this is that nobody anywhere was injured. If you see the news footage and newspaper pictures, you would think that loss of life would have been high. But, nobody was hurt. Hubby, son-in-law and I went for a walk around town Thursday. You can't believe how things looked. I know I posted pictures, but they don't do this tornado justice. There were houses with trees everywhere around them, but nothing actually hurt the house. There were massive trees that fell between houses, but not on them. If I ever needed proof that God is truly good, this was certainly it.
Lastly, four things......
1. If we had stayed for one more cocktail like we talked about, we wouldn't have been home when the tornado hit.
2. Hubby was in the bathroom when I was screaming for him.
3. When my daughter was closing the window in my room, the tree came down outside that window. Instinctively, she just hit the floor. She didn't get up until she heard me screaming her name.
4. The tornado siren never went off. We had absolutely no warning for a F2 tornado.


  1. What an amazing story! I am so glad that everynoe was alright. You guys were so fortunate. I have not watched or heard any news in days, so I did not even know what was going on out your way. Take care. Love & blessings from NC!

  2. That was sure a crazy, scary few minutes that seemed like a lifetime when you are caught up in it! How scary not to know where your husband and daughter were! The quiet must have been so eery! So glad every one is ok and you came home to take charge Nancy!!

  3. That is incredibly scary. We live just three miles west and all we had to deal with was green skies and horizontal rain. My FIL called us immediately after he heard the news and our electricity kept going off and on, but it stayed on. What a difference in a couple miles.

    I am so glad that you were all ok. I don't have any kids in middle school right now, but I keep thinking that it was such a good thing that it was not during school hours when there would have been 900 students plus staff in that building.

  4. That is some story! Glad y'all are safe & didn't have too much damage. Mother Nature has her ways of humbling us and reminding us of what is important.

  5. Yeah it was scary on that floor all alone! :) haha ... i'm happy you found me! i was terrified that i about got squashed by a tree! i'm happy it missed me and the house!

  6. I am terrified just reading about this. I cannot even imagine the terror you and everyone in your town felt. I can't imagine the destruction and yet I am in awe of the fact that no-one was hurt. I don't know anything about tornado warnings... was the siren supposed to warn you in more time? Are people horrified that the siren did not warm them? It is just awful. I am so thankful that you made it home and that you found everyone. AND your flashlight. You are the hero of the night! I hope your brother had a couple more beers... and some for you!

  7. Wow! I'm so glad you all are okay! What an experience!

  8. WOW! I totally got goosebumps reading this! So glad you are all okay!

  9. I am reading this post first... and then will go back to look at all the photos you mentioned!

    What a blessing that no one was hurt! Thank goodness for basements! We lived in Tulsa for 2 years and no basements in the rental we were in. Tornado sirens went off a lot! Hmmm... wonder why your sirens didnt go off?


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