from Sammy a truck driver
Twist Of Three
The wind picked up, you could hear things moving outside. The trees were starting to sway, so I ran out side to gather up things, a doormat, wind chimes, my little spring flag, lawn chairs, a mailbox off the porch. Making sure the car windows were all up. It started raining, the sky turned black in the west, I hurried back inside. It started to hail, oh please don't let it be the golf ball or baseball size!
Then everything went calm again, ah it had passed us by! It was my son's birthday this weekend, May 4th, 2003 and he wanted to see a new movie that was out 'X men'. We listened to the weather reports and it looked like it may all blow over and with nothing touching down in our area. It was no longer raining, so my son said" Lets go to downtown Springfield to the movies."
"Ok, I'll drive. We'll take my car." I said, so off we went on a calm evening? As we got closer to downtown Springfield we noticed traffic lights were all out and gas stations were all dark. Suddenly I hit a rain wall, I turned around and went out of it and then headed in another direction.
We were on a four- lane highway, and then pieces of metal started falling out of the sky on to the road in front of me, then to the side of me, or sailing though the air sideways. My son was saying" Get in other lane! NO! Forget it, something just landed!" By then it was pouring rain along with bigger then golf size hail. When the first one landed on my windshield I moaned, but it melted into a soft mushy snowball before my eyes.
"Man, this reminds me of the movie 'Twister'!" I said as I kept dodging all the pieces of homes and businesses falling on the highway. We swung off and headed into downtown Springfield, Mo. USA. As we came to the large movie theater off Campbell, the management ran out the door and yelled for us to get inside! The sirens were blaring a warning of the Tornados we had just pasted in between, or on the edges of, three of them together, all F-3s
Truckers from the highways had come in to take shelter. They kept everyone in the hallways. No one was going to see their movies until the storms past. Which was a couple of hours or so. Ones called home or their friends, on their cell phones. Their neighbors had lost their homes so the people at the theater panicked. There was news that it had made a path through our suburb town! Had wiped out half a town, on the hill above us. People started running out of the movie theater to see the damage at their towns or what had happened to their homes or to just help their neighbors. But the theater employees tried to stop them, to keep them safe, as the sirens were still going.
Around 2,000 homes lost at last count? Businesses and whole towns wiped out! Barns, big Dairies, chicken farms, so far they have found 800 dead bodies of horses, 8,000 of cows and chickens, not counting dairy cows they found miles away, so badly injured that they had to be put down. Fields are so full of trashed homes it is unsafe to let the live animals feed or to even cut the hay. As it would not be fit for animals to eat and it would tear up the farm equipment. No numbers on pets like dogs, cats, and birds' etc. poor little creatures. All together there were fourteen tornados that tore through our areas. They even found a body of a small child that had been ripped from the mother's arms found him in a ditch. Their mobile home was torn apart. They had just moved here from Mexico.
Strange things happen in tornados. Like a bank vault is still standing, but the main brick bank building is gone. Like a home is wiped away, but it leaves an open closet with clothes on hangers and things on a shelf still there untouched. Or in Pierce City they found a frozen hot dog sticking through a new 2"x 6" board, both in perfect shape. Or the man stunned by his home broken and flattened, but all of his homes light bulbs were put into a neat pile in the center, on clear ground, not one of them broken. He just kept staring and pointing at them. Oh the stories ones could tell! But most are grieving right now, wondering if things will ever get cleaned up, or if they will even have a home or town again, all in a state of shock!
Back at the theater, my son said, " I came to see a movie. Might as well enjoy it, before going back to see if we still have a home." We talked with a trucker, after the sirens stopped and they seated us in the theater. He talked about what he saw on the highway coming in. When I told my story he said, " Wow, that was like the movie twister! Cow, I see cows!" my son moaned.
After a very good movie, I drove back through the dark all the lights were still out! I watched for debris on the road. Finally we came to our home, the country streetlights were all on and lights shown from windows of other homes. What a shock it was, in contrast with all I had driven through. But my lawn was covered in pink insulation and slivers of lumber from other's homes. Then we all started to realize how shaken we were, all in shock and others started grieving for their lost loved ones, for their pets and farm animals, for their homes, a business they had owned or over family pictures that were gone forever. Then we were hit again by F4s!
A true story by Judith Ann G.
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