What do you do when you find out your house has been hit by a tornado? How are you supposed to act. We were all OK. Immediately I thanked God that I could honestly say we were all OK. Brent looked out our kitchen window and saw a hole in the back of our garage. Of course, there was no electricity, which meant no lights, which meant that we couldn’t fully understand the extent of the damage. Karter was scared and didn’t know what to do, but so was I. The first thing he asked is why his slide was broken. My heart broke for him as he looked out the window at where his swing set used to be. Brody clung to me, but I think that was just because it was dark. I just remember Brent’s shakey voice saying, “Kelli, we were hit by a tornado.” We walked into the living room. I remember thinking, “Thank you God that we still have a living room.” The boys and I sat on the couch in front of the big window. Just on the other side of that glass was chaos, and I didn’t want to go out there. Brent put shoes on and walked out our front door, now with an actual flashlight. Our front porch was in pieces. He didn’t know if it was safe to actually walk on it, but he did. Outside in the street people were coming out of their houses. Fire trucks rode down the street. Firemen knocked on doors making sure everyone inside was OK.
The next thing I know, I had dialed my sister’s phone number. By this time it was about 1:30 AM, and I didn’t know what else to do but call Kristi and talk through this. Matt answered right away, like it wasn’t even weird that I was calling at that time. He and Kristi were vacuuming up water in the basement (thank you God for keeping the water out of our basement). I didn’t even ask for Kristi. I don’t even know if I was making sense. I just remember telling Matt that our house had been hit by a tornado.
Karter asked a few questions, and I didn’t know what to tell him. How do you explain this to a 3 year old? We sat on the couch, and watched the commotion outside. Karter wanted to know why those “fire guys” broke the houses. I explained that they were good guys and were making sure everyone was safe. After a few minutes Brent came back in. He sat with the boys and I went and walked around.
It was shocking! I couldn’t take it all in. There were flashing lights, people walking, trees down, entire roofs missing. It was chaos. I asked Brent if I could take pictures, but he thought I should wait til morning. Here are a few pictures of our damage:
The garage door in our 3rd stall was either sucked or blown in (yet the doors on the two stalls where we park our vehicles were not damaged)
The back wall of our garage was pushed about a foot off the foundation (and yet our vehicles remained undamaged).
The front porch: (One of the support beams actually went through our neighbor’s window. Thank God no one was seriously hurt!)
Our swing set and some broken trees:
In my last post (part II) I mentioned that I remembered feeling a draft of air when I went in to get Brody. It wasn’t until later that I found out that draft of air was coming from the window. Brody’s window had shattered. Luckily his crib is across the (very small) room from the window, and none of the glass made it that far over. Karter’s room was also missing a window, but that one was not shattered. It was sucked out and landed about 3 houses down. It breaks my heart to know that this all happened while they were still snuggled in their beds. I can’t help but think about the what-ifs, and it makes me fall to my knees and thank God that he kept my family safe. I am amazed.
At about 3:00 that morning we headed up to Brent’s parents’ house to try and get some sleep. That was really the first time that I paid attention to the damage done to the rest of the neighborhood…