|Chet standing with the fallen tree - this bad boy is HUGE!|
First step was getting the jeep as far under our open shed to protect it against possible hail. Next, I opened the shelter door to help vent it, because it gets very hot in there, and I wanted to be ready just in case. Shortly after Chet came home and we started dinner. This was one of his rare nights off, and I am beyond grateful that he was here with me for this crazy night, otherwise full yankee panic would have set in! I was glued to the TV with the news the in the kitchen while I cooked and Chet zoned out with Andy Zimern in the living room. Only minutes later they announced that the first "large destructive rain-wrapped tornado" was on the ground about 2 hours away and headed right for Stillwater. As the situation became more intense, Chet joined me in the kitchen as several other tornadoes were identified on the ground. Though they were getting closer, still none had reached us by about 40 miles.
|Taken on the back porch, shortly after the tornado|
|View of damage so close to the house the next morning|
It was then we realized a 40 ft tree had been torn up by the roots and lay along the house.
I went back into the closet and Chet evaluated the storm. I called my Mom as the reality of the situation hit me and I began to panic. A tornado had just come through our yard and picked up a massive tree. At this point I had no idea of the damage, and it also dawned on me that my cat Friday was somewhere outside. Chet came to get me shortly later and we headed to the porch to evaluate.
|Huge limbs down along the driveway|
|Branch across the front porch and on the roof|
Shortly later our neighbors came by to say that several power lines and trees were across the road up north and completely blocked the road. The biggest surprise that they told us was that our neighbors had completely lost two homes and two barns but thankfully no one was hurt. They live north on the road to us about 1/8 of a mile away. We attempted to go see the damage but the power lines prevented us from getting close. Even at a distance we could see it was bad.
We returned to the house and prepared for the night. Thankfully, the temperature dropped because we also had no AC and I was starting to get very uncomfortable. We opened up the windows and I tried to get some sleep though I didn't have much luck. We could hear the power company and emergency services up the road working to clear the road and help the neighbors. By 6 am (12 hours later) the power came back on.
|The view from the S Country Club Rd|
|2nd story is completely gone, this is where our neighbors lived.|
We are thankful that no one was hurt. We learned later that the news was not aware of the tornado that hit us, and it touched down less than three miles from our house and headed straight for us. We only got the tail of it on our property as it went back up, most of the tornado was concentrated right down the road. The sound we heard when standing on our front porch was indeed the tornado coming for us! There was no way for us to know a tornado was on the ground at that time!
|Along my road, the path of the tornado.|
Next step will be cleaning up, and praying our thanks that we walked away from it all and even had a home to return to. This could have been much worse! We are hoping our neighbors are able to rebuild.
|This used to be a 2 story barn right down the road.|
|Whats left of our neighbor's two story home.|