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"Standing tall is a very admirable thing. There are very few stories in history of heroes who slouched to the rescue. Likewise, most individuals don't look up to people who are drooped over."
from Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye

my family

Friday, August 22, 2008

Foto-story Friday #12-- tornado adventures


Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


No one told us when we moved to this map dot in Eastern MT that we had moved to tornado ally. OK, so it's not Kansas, but surprisingly enough {to us} this area receives its fair share of the twisters!  The above picture is of the trailer we lived in when Troy was working on the farm.  It is how it looked after our first tornado experience.  {July 2001
Let me first say, that out on the farm If you don't have dish network or direct TV, you don't have TV! And the radio, yeah, it only comes in if you hold your tongue just right and stand in such a way that you are the anteane!  {on with the story...}   The day seemed pretty normal we went about life as usual and fed the sister missionaries that night.  Troy observed the sky, that it looked like a storm was brewing and told them they should head on back to town.  The sky looked nasty, nearly black off in the distance and it was only around 7-ish.  We got the kids ready for bed, took another look outside. I remember thinking "Humm, that's strange, there's no wind." Now, there seems to always be wind in Eastern MT.  All of the sudden, the wind hit! We were sure that it would rip the A/C unit out of the window, so we quick worked to get it in the house.  Our table still bears the marks of our hasty drop onto it.  I looked out the window,saw stuff all over the yard and remarked, "The wind is sure strong, it has already destroyed something and strewn it all over the yard."  The wind was shaking the trailer, but you know how unsteady a trailer house can be.  The phone rang at that moment and it was the farmer's wife, "Get up here, it's a tornado.  You need to get in the basement!"  My mind was reeling!  A tornado?  Did I really hear that right?!  So we gathered the kids and ran for the suburban.
See the two vehicles in this picture? We mostly parked them like this, close together and usually headed in the same direction. {All pictures were taken the day after the excitement.} We raced out to the sub and the wind picked up Shantel, who at that time, was only 5, and slammed her into the pick-up.  I was starting to panic thinking something worse would happen in the short drive up to the main farmhouse.  We all crammed into the basement bedroom to wait out the storm.  Shortly it passed on, and the guys went out to check the damage.  We stayed that night at the farmhouse. I was scared. That stuff all over the yard? That was the roof of the trailer! A few years before they had a new roof built over the trailer and the tornado had removed it in a matter of seconds!  That's right we were in the house as the tornado passed over us!  I've seen the pictures of whole trailer parks being leveled in tornados!  The Lord was for sure watching over us.  We were all fine, our puppy was fine, he'd hid under the porch and our horse was also alright.  The gate to her pasture was open, but she was fine.  This is some of the damage incurred at the farm.  The 5th wheel trailer was on the other side of the car!  The swing-set was in the grass and closer to the clothes line and the windows of the garage.  The riding mower was also in the grass upright.  The grain trailer had been freshly painted and now was in need of a new paint job.  The garage door had been tweaked.
The power went out right after the phone call.  We were without power for nearly 24 hours.  
The above picture is of the grain elevators in Circle.   A farm in the area lost a whole quonset -- all that was left was the concrete slab!
The farmer's wife then told us that it seemed every time there was a tornado watch or warning in the area, they had been hit.  I think this was important information!  Why did she not tell us this before?!  We spent the next day cleaning up the mess.  We learned that our new trampoline had rolled down the street and then came all apart-- the pieces parts never to be all recovered.  A few days later I was chatting with my mom online when I looked out the window to see three funnel clouds off in the distance!  
I could have gone my whole life without ever experiencing another one of those storms.  It was not to be.  In June 2006, I went out to take pictures of the storm clouds.  They were very cool looking.  Kind of menacing 
and a little eerie...
I took this below picture just before the wind kicked in.
Do you see that cloud coming down the road?  I got inside and got the door closed just before the wind roared past the house.  I can not even describe how it sounded.  The power went out, the rain followed.  Shantel started to panic reliving our previous experience.  Whether it was a tornado that twisted down our street or just the wind, I'm not sure.  There were sightings of twisters on the ground in town that day.  
My mother-in-law came over right after the storm and we drove around to survey the damage.
The next day I did some more looking.
Nearly every area of town had sustained some damage.  Huge trees came crashing down causing the most damage.
Beware the weather and always take your camera!  Be wary of green skies and the clam before the storm.

37 comments:

KATE said...

Wow! I'm not even sure what to say! I LOVE to watch the weather, but I'm not so sure I would want to be living in it! Yikes! I love all the pictures you took! Good Job!

angie said...

Oh my gosh, Carrie. I had no idea. I'm so glad you shared this today!

Cecily R said...

I'm like Kate and I love extreme weather, but THAT? Would scare the crap right out of me!

Kudos to you for taking such great pics though!

FAB PSF!

Are You Serious! said...

♥ That is scary! Those pictures are amazing!

Shellie said...

OH, PTSD! I hate tornadoes, they scare the living daylights out of me, yet they hold a certain fascination too. I've had some experiences with them through the years and they are often the subject of my nightmares, but if my 5 yo was picked up by the wind and slammed into the truck, I think I might need therapy!!!Holy moly, what a story!
p.s. the word verification says wwsxp, does that stand for world wide sex appeal?

Killlashandra said...

Must be something about tornadoes lately. I just posted about our near miss experience last Sunday. Two funnels formed but did not touch down thank goodness. Although we got tons of hail damage.

I'm glad everyone is ok. The farm damage is terrible. It is such an expensive and sad loss.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

scary stuff!!
You always have such interesting stories!!

CrackerJacks said...

I am a tornado chaser at heart! I love the thrill while watching them but I hate to see the damage it causes. It really is amazing the amount of strength they can carry!

Thanks for such a great story and montage of photos!

CC said...

WOW! I'll take earthquakes any day over that!

Chris said...

Wow, that's very intense. I've only been through a tornado storm once. the best word I can think for it is: Eerie!"
I'm glad everyone was okay.

Mom2My6Kids said...

Hi Carrie, still here, just never enough time lately to comment. I'm going to try to do better. I love your foto-friday posts. I love learning all the stories behind the current you. You have lived one amazing life. I'm not that tough. I like to pull out my princess pass and whimp out on the hard stuff. You are amazing. What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Amazing photos... Don't mess with mother nature!!

Crazy Mama said...

Insane. Tornadoes are scary things. Thankfully, knock on wood, we haven't had anything bad around here this year.

idahohubers said...

I really don't like the sound of strong wind. I was paranoid about tornados when we first moved to Idaho. We don't get them here but still I was freaking out over windy nights. The wind would race between our house and the next and rattle the siding. I HATED that noisy house! The one we are in now is so much more quiet.

So I can only imagine how scary that was. It's crazy how fast weather can change and what it leaves in the wake. Seriously though I would have been a crying mess, probably swearing too, if I saw my child picked up by wind!

Vidal's Nest said...

WoW! scary! I hate tornados. When we moved to Colorado and would get a tornado warning I would call my husband at work freaking out! We were fortunate we were never hit by one. The tornado that hit colorado a few months ago? It was scary close to where we once lived. Ugh!

Glad everyone is OK!

Golightly said...

I was going to say you really captured that green eerie sky well. I remember those days. Now I live with earthquacks!

Mandy said...

WOW! I have lived and grown up in tornado alley but it never gets less scary!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer said...

Just glad you're ok! We're in Iowa and I've yet to go through a tornado. Knock on wood!

dianne - bunny trails said...

Holy smokes! We get tornadoes in Colorado, but not usually on my side of town. Scary stuff, though. Your poor daughter! I can't imagine being picked up by the wind. Glad that everyone was okay.

Pinky said...

I can't believe you had the mindset to grab your camera! What a documentarian you are! Wow.
I grew up in tornado alley, but never got hit by one.
I'm glad you're alright.
f

Anne Bradshaw said...

Carrie--I just have to let you know about a GREAT new and safe LDS website for sisters only, called "Our Ladies Room" at http://www.ourladiesroom.com/

Lots of super ladies on there already, and plenty of groups and forums to join and discuss a ton of issues.

Hope to see you there!

Oh, and I have a book contest running on my blog again, in case you want to check it out :-)

david mcmahon said...

What an amazing post. Thank goodness you're safe.

tommie said...

OMG, those are horrible! I grew up in OK and those are very familiar pics. I have memories of hunkering down in the bathroom waiting for that sound like a train bearing down on the house.

Robyn said...

scary stuff, the green skies are a dead give away.

Laura said...

Wow! I am terrified of natural diasters. Truly terrified. For me it was earth quakes. Thanks for sharing this.

I am all caught up on your blog. Back to school, preschool at home. You are one busy mom.

armyfamilyok said...

We do live in tornado alley....Oklahoma!! So far, we've been blessed.

Congrats on the awesome thing your daughter did cutting and donating her hair!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

SuperCoolMom said...

Holy Cow! So glad we don't have those in AZ!

latree said...

that was horrible, thank God you are all ok!

MamaGeek said...

Oh WOW, this was fascinating. These pics were great - you just never know what storms can DO until you're in it!

Casey's trio said...

WOW...I've never witnessed anything like that and hope I never do.

lisaschaos said...

I would never have thought of tornadoes there! Amazing! I grew up in tornado alley and have a healthy fear of them.

Debra said...

Oh man. That is SOOO scary! I so totally am scared of tornadoes. This summer we have had SO many tornadoes come through here that I am ready to leave. I prefer hurricanes. You get a few days warning so that you can board up your house and then pack up and go on vacation!

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Ya-aa-aa-aa-ikes! That all looks horrible. I think tornadoes and earthquakes are scariest natural disasters because they happen so quickly that you don't really get a chance to prepare for them much.

Sandi McBride said...

There's nothing more terrifying than a storm in my opinion...you can't control Mother Nature, there's just no question, a storm can be a bad experience. Thanks for sharing, we forget sometimes that each of us may have survived some terror in life...I'm glad you survived yours. David sent me over, congratulations on your post of the day award!
Sandi

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What AMAZING photos! I lived for a very short time in tornado ally (during college... as did my baby brother) and it was SUPER-SCARY to say the least!

Thank you for visiting my blog today! =)

Darla said...

WOW! I don't mind big, even huge, thunderstorms. But tornadoes, that close...no thanks!

Brooke said...

Growing up in Kansas myself, I can relate to this story. Even though we were never "hit" we did see our fair share of tornadoes and we all knew where to go in the basement! I still enjoy a good storm but maybe that's because I never had to experience the tornado actually hitting us! Yikes! Great photos to remember the scary time though!