The Tornado That Swept Through Town

Last Monday was a day like any other.. It was sunshiny and beautiful, the whole family was out enjoying the warm summers day, and I was out on the front porch hot- wands for an upcoming market.

What started out as a normal day, turned into anything but!

Now, we were told that a storm was on it’s way to us. But as most storms go either north or south of us (literally EVERY TIME we are promised a big storm), we really didn’t put much stock in it.

As the day continued, I went and filled my truck up with gas, ran some errands, and then my family all settled down in the living room to watch Big Bang Theory and eat dinner. We didn’t think much of it when the wind started to pick up… We didn’t think much of it when we had gotten ‘SEVER WEATHER WARNING!’ texts on our phones… And we didn’t think much of it when the sky outside started to turn dark… But boy, when the power flickered and then turned off entirely, we were truly aware of just how bad this storm was!

I quickly grabbed my stuff and ran back to my cabin to make sure that everything was secured. Then, we all hunkered down and waited out this storm which we were sure wasn’t going to last long.

Now, don’t you dare think that we weren’t prepared at all! Whenever we hear that there is any kind of storm coming, we make sure to have extra water laying around, bring stuff in from outside that could blow away, and we get plenty of flashlights within arm’s reach! However, as I said before, most storms don’t actually hit us because they go north or south of us.

So the wind blew, the rain came down in buckets, and the power remained out.

Thankfully my family always keeps an insane amount of candles around the place! This came in handy when the power went out and the dark sky’s intruded. I passed the time by reading as the storm blew on and on outside. My cat Binx remained transfixed at the window as if she couldn’t imagine anything more mesmerizing than the storm outside.

When the wind finally calmed down and the rain turned to a light drizzle, I looked outside to see my father walking up to the road to pull branches off. I quickly pulled on my rain boots and joined him outside as we walked up and down the road to make sure all of the big branches were off the road (least someone run over them in their haste to get home after the storm and damage their car). Sure enough, there were a few idgits that came speeding down the road, only for us to hear crunching noises as they rounded the corner. The sound was probably from the trucks running over some sizable tree branches, but they shouldn’t have been speeding down the road during a storm and NOT expect tree branches! As we finished clearing what we could from the road, my father and I made our way back to the house just as the sky was giving off a creepy orange glow!

Thinking that it was all over, and that the weather was calm now, my family and I went to bed…

Around two in the morning, the storms started up again for round two! This time with less wind and rain, and more lightning and hail.. My mother and I laid in our beds texting one another as my father slept peacefully through the storm. When we had gotten up, the power was still out. However, we had soon found out that we were one of the lucky ones.

Waking up with no power sucked… Especially since Tuesday and Wednesday were going to be the HOTTEST DAYS OF THE WEEK! And I’m talking, 105 Degrees Fahrenheit on the heat index! With no power to run fans or air conditioning! And limited water!!! Yeah, it was not going to be fun..

Tuesday, day two of no power, and we knew we were in for a long day..

My father had pulled out the old camp stove so that he could still have his morning cup of coffee, and I gladly accepted a warm cup of tea (even if it was hot outside). It’s the little things like this that make the day a little more bearable.

After everyone had gotten some coffee (and tea) in them, the real work began.. My family started getting ahold of everyone we knew around the area and checking to make sure they were okay. We had some family in the next town over that need our help cutting up a tree, but the storm had knocked down so many trees that practically every road was blocked off from us to them!

So instead of risking our lives to go to the next town, we made our way over to Marcellus to check on one of my grandmothers. We were shocked to find the town in total chaos! Remember when I said that we were the lucky ones? Well, the people of Marcellus got hit pretty hard and there were not only trees down in the streets, but on top of houses! In fact, on the way to town we had seen one barn completely destroyed, and another barn with half of its roof torn off!

After checking on my grandmother (she was okay), we had stopped to help someone we knew who had a tree fall on their car. Believe it or not, their totaled car didn’t even get the blunt end of the stick! The tree had fallen on their neighbor’s house and had taken off half of their house and their new front porch in the process! (If you look closely in the pictures below, you can just barely see the shattered house on the left..)

We were out there in about 90 Degree temperatures cutting this tree up and hauling it to the side of the road. The boys in the house helped too, and my mother had offered her cell phone to the lady to call insurance since no one’s cell phones were working in town. (Word around the street was that one of the cell phone towers was knocked out in the storm, but no one knew for sure.)

After a few hours of back breaking work, we were finally able to cut up most of the tree on this woman’s property and help her get to her car to take pictures of the damages (for insurance). So that was a job well done on that!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures of the damages around town because most of the damages were to people’s houses. However, I did manage to snap one picture of the powerlines being down! This was just one of the many powerlines around the area that looked like this. A lot of powerlines were tangled up in fallen trees and huge branches, but this one snapped in two.

Right after I had snapped this picture, we had driven past a few electric trucks where the men were working hard in the heat of the day.. I have to hand it to those guys, they were truly working through the worst day so that people could have their power back. I am so thankful to people like this, and for all of the random townspeople who went around with chainsaws to help those in need!

While on our way back, we had also found the path of destruction that the storm had taken, and we had also discovered while in town that this was no ‘ordinary‘ storm.. It was, in fact, a tornado! It was just a mile down the road from the house where we discovered a wide path of twisted, uprooted, and torn apart trees. This was were the tornado had gone through.. (Sorry, I don’t have pictures of this.)

After we had gotten home, we were hot, sweaty, and tired. So we went over to my other grandmothers house, used her shower, filled up water jugs, grabbed a generator, and went home to our hot and humid house!

After a few hours of being back home, a friend of ours came over to teach us how to get the generator started and how to use it (it was an old generator that hasn’t been used in many years and was sitting in my grandmother’s yard). After about twenty minutes in that heat trying to get it going, we finally got it up and running! Our friend left, we got the fridge plugged into the generator to save the food in it, and you want to know what happened?! THE POWER TURNED BACK ON! The second my parents plugged the fridge into the generator, the lights, fans, and water ALL turned back on! This was at about 7-8 at night and we were all exhausted and sweaty. Thankfully with running water, we were all able to take another shower!

We also made sure to let our friend know that he not only got our house powered up, but that he managed to jump start the rest of the neighborhood as well! 😂

After the power turned back on, we managed to message the rest of the people we knew and assess the damage.. Some of our friends and family had gotten power again. Most of Marcellus still didn’t have power. And a friend of mine who lived off some back roads still had no power.

Wednesday, two days after the storm, we hit the ground running! Just because we had gotten our power back on, it didn’t mean that people weren’t out there suffering in this heat. So when my parents and I had gotten up and around for the day, my parents set out to go help cut up trees in people’s front yards, and I went to go deliver fresh water and charging devices to some friends of mine who were still without power.

This very special friend of mine was so grateful for the water and the ability to charge her devices, and her boys were happy to have some water to dunk on their heads as they had been out doing yard work in the heat of the day! And when I had discovered that my friend had to go to work that morning, I had offered for her to come back to my place and take a shower before work. (She happily accepted.)

Thankfully her power was back on by the time she had gotten home from work, and we were all happy that her and her family could enjoy the air conditioner again!

This tornado had really done a number on my little town. But everyone pulled together as a community, and we all took care of one another. I can’t seem to say this enough, but I love my tiny little town! ❤ ❤ ❤

That’s it for today’s post! As always, smile, have an amazing day, and make sure to check on your loved ones BEFORE the storms too. 😉

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