February 19, 2017
It was the evening of February 19, 2017 that has forever changed my view of mother nature. My husband and I were enjoying our usual evening of getting ready for the work week. He had packed his lunch, got his laundry all put away, and we were discussing the upcoming week. The news had been talking about storms coming our way all day. We were mainly worried for hail damage, so we parked our vehicles accordingly.
Around 9:15 pm, I decided that maybe we better get our showers in case we lost power. We hurriedly jumped in the shower as we heard thunder in the distance. Settled in the recliner, my husband checked the weather on his phone. He said “I think the worst is past us now, so I should get to bed.” This was approximately 10:35 pm. We saw a big bolt of lightning, so I ran out to the rec room to unplug my computer just in case. The wind seemed to be picking up a bit, so Russ stood by the back door to see what was going on. I walked into the living room, and made it to the hallway entrance. I looked toward the back door where he was standing and all of a sudden the wind picked up. When I say it picked up, it went from a breeze to “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”
I grabbed my chihuahuas, and the cats seem to follow me. I didn’t know what was going on, but I remembered that I needed to get to the tub during a storm. So, I tried to get down the hallway toward the bathroom. I never did make it. My ear drums felt like someone was ripping them inside out, and I had never felt that before! There was amazing force in the house…unbelievable! I felt the wind coming down the hall, and I couldn’t get to the bathroom.
I heard all kinds of crashing noises on the roof, and trees ripping apart. I didn’t know where was safe, I just remember smelling the “fresh wet trees” smell. I looked at the bedroom door of the back bed room, and I just knew if I opened that door that the room wouldn’t be there. I ran to get my husband and he was sitting in the floor by the back door. I called out his name, and he said he was ok. Just then, our emergency alert system went off on our phones. He said “Tara, I think we’ve just been hit by a tornado.” I was in disbelief. I hadn’t registered in my mind that we were hit by a tornado.
We immediately went to check on our next door neighbors. They were wandering around outside in shock. Luckily, they were physically ok. Their houses were a little better off than ours, thank God.