Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Power of Nature–Tornado

Memorial Day started out as a beautiful day with shining sun and a little breeze but became stormy and violent by 7:30 pm.  My good friend’s farmstead was hit by a tornado that evening.  Luckily her house was spared but all the barns and sheds plus many trees were destroyed and scattered. IMG_3560 She was home at the time and didn’t realize what was happening and did not have her TV on to hear the warnings.  We have notification on our cell phones when a severe storm is coming and now have her on that system too.  We had just gone to our basement because of a warning we got when she called us.  She was concerned about her window that part of a tree crashed through and the rain that was coming into her living room.  When she told me she saw some parts of one of her buildings blow by I told her to immediately get to the basement.  John and I only had very strong straight winds so didn’t think about it being a tornado until we drove to her place when the storm died down some.  Straight winds can be dangerous too.  We were shocked to see the mess her farm yard was in when er arrived. IMG_3583You can see from this photo a large old tree that had been pulled up by the roots and part of a power pole under debris in the photo above.  Somewhere under that mess is her driveway!IMG_3613Part of one of the outbuildings roof landed right in front of her home.  Amazing it didn’t take the house and her too.  IMG_3618More photos of the wrecked buildings from different directions.IMG_3587IMG_3591IMG_3715The tornado took the building off this stuff and tossed the contents around a bit.  Some things were ruined and some perfectly fine and undamaged like this glass cup sitting in the middle of her driveway unbroken and filled with rain water.  IMG_3705She had some buildings across the road that got destroyed but it left a boat and and an antique car just as they were parked with no damage.IMG_3558IMG_3684A chair from her deck was driven into the chain link fence – another odd thing.IMG_3644The one broken window was just shattered and glass and rain soaked the carpet and furniture.IMG_3724This is the area where my friend was standing when the storm was raging outside.  It makes me shudder to think how close she came. IMG_3729
Area friends and farmers came to help get the mess cleaned up.  They brought large equipment and started to work as soon as they were assured the power was off and it was safe.  Those of us not running the equipment picked up glass and small pieces of wood, tin, nails, etc.  I could not believe all the broken glass scattered all over the place.  The lawn was covered by small pieces of glass.  There were windows in the barn and other buildings and they were just shattered and scattered all over.  We had large magnets to help pick up the nails and other bits of metal but the glass has to be picked up one piece at a time.IMG_3704
IMG_3716The driveway was cleared first but there was so much other debris to clean up. It took a lot of hands and equipment but at the end of the day it looked like this.  The mountain of trash is piled where the old barn once sat.  My friend was so sad about the barn as it was over 100 years old and that is where her grandparents met at a barn dance.
A football team from a nearby college came this past Monday to help with the clean up of the fields.  There were ripped up grain bins plus all kinds of debris scattered for miles.  They worked hard and got most of it picked up in just a few short hours.  Lots of farmers had their center pivot irrigation systems blown over and/or mangled but we were fortunate we didn’t loose any to the storm.  Our small town had a lot of tree damage, power line damage and some house damage that is still being cleaned up.  No one was hurt but it is still sad to see.  Straight winds did a little damage at our place but minor compared to others.

Our small town residents and those that live in the rural area are resilient and jump to help out, even helping out strangers.  We will remember this storm for many years but can always be thankful that no one was hurt.



QuiltinLibraryLady said...

Your friend is so lucky to have her house and her life. The barn is a loss but she has the memories. It's so strange what tornadoes take and what they leave. That unbroken glass cup among the debris is amazing.

sherry said...

wow, lucky but not lucky

Jean Belle said...

Oh my! So glad everyone is ok. A tornado destroyed a relative's home in the 1930's and our family still marks time by it 2 generations later: "Was that before or after the tornado?" It is an event that becomes a pivital point in family history. Isn't it a blessing how people come to help those in need? Thanks for sharing the amazing photos and story.

tich said...

I will not complain about our storms again! Your poor friend!!


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