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. 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. You 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!Part of one of the outbuildings roof landed right in front of her home. Amazing it didn’t take the house and her too. More photos of the wrecked buildings from different directions.The 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. She 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.A chair from her deck was driven into the chain link fence – another odd thing.The one broken window was just shattered and glass and rain soaked the carpet and furniture.This is the area where my friend was standing when the storm was raging outside. It makes me shudder to think how close she came.
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.
The 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.
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.