Once it became obvious a monster storm was bearing down on us, I got the family in the car and screamed up the road through golf ball size hail to the Baptist Church basement where a lot of people take shelter in our little town of a few hundred.
Michelle and the kids went to the basement while I (of course, idiot) stayed up in the parking lot to watch out. A big tornado spun up right in front of us... all I had was my iPhone camera, but here's what happened... the news is now saying it was an EF4 tornado (for you non-enlightened, that is a HUGE violent tornado).
(I'm watching news video of it right now on TV... unbelievable):
A small funnel (white whisp in the photo) spun up
and roped out. I thought maybe that was it, and then...
This monster appeared behind it. My house is about two
hundred yards in front of where I'm standing directly
towards this tornado.
At this point, it sounds like a jet engine and a freight train
coming down the road and I thought for sure our house
was going to be destroyed. I was about 5 seconds from
hauling my butt into the shelter but I realized quickly it was
going to pass west of us but just barely. We could see
construction debris flying through the air and it was
I ran around the church building out into the open street.
What you see here is literally "downtown" in our small
community of a few hundred.
The tornado is probably a several miles away
at this point and it still looks huge.
The news was saying it was an F3 or F4.
Look at the debris field at the base of the twister.
It was churning up everything.
It looked like it was going to spin out at this point...
But then it restrengthened and went a few miles further
and made a direct hit on a town called Goldsby
about 7 miles from us. Lots of friends have lost homes.
Got back home and half my tree was on the ground.
The tree looks awful now, but not as bad as a destroyed house.