Tornado Experience

May 25, 2011 Posted by zachary

Last night was interesting. Power went out around 5-ish. We had our emergency radio out and listening to the weather news.

I went around the house and turned off all the electronics. We cleared out the cleared out our “storm shelter” (the closet at the end of the hall) and prepped it for our occupation. We let the dogs inside. Kelsie came running in but Diamond took a little more coaxing. She wanted in, but her radio collar has trained her to stay away from the back door so I had to drag her.

We climbed into our “storm shelter” (the closet at the end of the hall) Two adults, four kids and a puppy makes for a very crowded closet. We were in there for about 20 minutes while we listened to the news about the tornado. Once it passed, we climbed out to still no power.

Our home was pretty much fine. So were all of our neighbors. The storm had passed a few miles north of us. There was some small debris in our yard, but we were otherwise fine.

Becky had started some chicken on the stove. She had gotten the water the chicken was in to boil just as the power went out and the heat of the water finished cooking it while we were in the closet. So we were still able to eat dinner, but in the dark.

While eating, Sister Pilj came by to see how we were doing. They had some trees fall and blocked their van, but they were otherwise fine.

Around 6:30 we decided to drive to some of our friends who lived near the path of the Storm. We stopped by our son’s friend Q’s house. They were doing fine. I finally got a hold of Willis while here and my Mom, Grandma, Willis and his family and Hyrum and his family are fine. There were some homes destroyed or damaged in their area. President Nelson was in that area and was checking up on people. The Salazars were not home, but their house was fine. We got to the Sagastizados and was given a fright.

I went in because their door was open, but no one was answering. Since no one was in the main house, I wanted to check on their Grandma and went to her section of the house. I was looking around calling her name to no answer. I soon saw her lying motionless on the bed. I was afraid she had passed away. I was relieved when she blinked and answered me. I talked to her for a bit and got her a drink of water.

Just as I was coming back out of the house, Maria and Travis Randall came back. They were with her during the storm but had left to check on their Randall Family Gym. So I was glad to here that they were OK. The rest of the Sagastizado family was on vacation at Niagara Falls.

We looked around their property at the damage. The Tornado had gone through pretty much their backyard. It destroyed one of their neighbor’s homes. Some trees had been knocked down. One had fallen on one of their sheds completely destroying it. Their trampoline was gone and the kids’ fort was turned on its side.

We left their home to check on Sister Fleming. She lives about a mile north of the tornado’s path. She was fine and the house was not damaged. She and her family were in their cellar during the storm.

Finally, we checked on the Norton’s home. Their house was fine. Some of the Neighbors’ fences were damaged. Their Neighbor was planning on calling them to let them know. They said we were about the 5th people to come and check their house. The Nortons are trying to sell their home and have been out of town for the past few months.

We then went home as it was getting dark. We drove through Main St. in Newcastle and looked at the damage the tornado caused. There is an RV storage in town, right in the path of the tornado. The tornado missed most of them but damaged the second building and ripped the first building right off the top of the RVs parked below, leaving them relatively undamaged. There were about a dozen cars parked on the street, most likely RV owners trying to asses possible damage to their vehicles.

Other than that, there were a lot of fallen trees, some damage roofs and plenty of debris as far as we could see. Newcastle is reporting some 15 homes destroyed with many others damaged.

We ended the night with a game of Uno by lamplight and some charades. We sent the kids to bed around 9:30 getting them down at about 10. They were a little scared and a lot tired and were having trouble getting comfortable with no power. You never realize just how much we depend on electricity for the little comforts until you no longer have it. Julia was the worst trying to get to sleep. She was just crying and crying and would not lay down. Eventually she went to sleep after we gave her a bottle.

Becky and I laid down to sleep. We said a prayer for those who lost homes or had been damaged. We prayed that the power would be on soon.

About 12-ish, the power came back on. I woke up yelling “Please don’t shine that in my face!” Thinking Becky had shined the flashlight in my face. Much to my surprise it was actually the ceiling light coming back on. We went around the house and turned off all the other lights that had been left on prior to the power going out and climbed back into bed.

I had set my phone alarm for what I though was 5:30 this morning, but found out it was actually set for PM when I woke up suddenly at 6 on the dot. Driving to work, everything was pretty much the same as it was before, but with far fewer people out and about. There is a lot of work to be done.

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