4/27/11 Tornado, 10th Anniversary

We survived. Many did not. Church bells will ring at 5:13 pm today, the time when the tornado hit the town 10 years ago, for those who didn’t make it.

Our cats survived, too.

I’m just going to post links to some videos and an article. These are not my work, they were done by others as specified at the links.

Tornado Synced

When my husband rebuilt the house we survived in, he made it even stronger. He purposely left a piece of glass embedded in the wall, as a reminder.

The PTSD is getting worse, not better. Sometimes I wish we’d moved to another part of the country where tornadoes are far less common. But we’d have been leaving a lifetime of treasured friendships. And we wouldn’t have met our more recent and wonderful cats.

If you’re driving around and you see a tornado, here are safety suggestions.

What to do if you see a tornado while driving

Stay safe! If you see a tornado don’t watch it or video-record it like some of the folks in the videos did. Take cover. That said, the following is one of the most intense videos of a tornado ever:

Jason Rosolowski video (It seems to be starting from late in the recording, you may have to to drag the starting thingie back to the beginning.):

Jason Rosolowski video

You can look under the “Tornado” category here for various posts I wrote about it.

Be mindful of tornado safety and look up your state’s safety information. Use helmets. The lowest level of of any structure, in a small interior room like a bathroom or closet, away from windows, is said to be the safest.

Tornadoes have occurred in every contiguous state of the US.

Still working on photos and computers, we’ll be back soon with spring pictures and kitty photos.

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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59 Responses to 4/27/11 Tornado, 10th Anniversary

  1. JoAnn says:

    Wow. The videos are too scary! Glad you and kitties are ok 🙀🙂

  2. chattykerry says:

    I can’t imagine what it was like to lose your home to a tornado but I can empathize with terrible weather events. It does seem to be the same, world over. I am so sorry that your PTSD is worse and I hope your doctor/therapist can help with that.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you Kerry I appreciate your kind words! The kitties thank you too. There do seem to be a lot of horrible weather events now, worldwide. I have so many medical issues waiting for the whatever time I feel safe going to a doc’s office again that I’ll probably just “tough it out” on the PTSD thing. I have done a limited amount of phone consults. I’ll get some relief when the present severe weather season is over, for sure. Cheers and Meows to you from Leah and the kitties!

      • chattykerry says:

        I totally understand that, Leah. I was so anxious at my one appointment at the GPs that I snapped at her…. Hugs to you and those wonderful fur babies. K x

        • Leah says:

          I’d sure like to snap at our GP, we’ve heard he doesn’t use or require masks, the other docs in his whole building were upset about it . . . we may be shopping for another GP . . . we did like him, he was nice, but . . . XO

          • chattykerry says:

            That’s crazy, Leah! What the heck is he thinking of?? I would be looking for a new doctor, too.

            • Leah says:

              I totally agree, Kerry. and can’t imagine . . . the one precaution that office did take was to not see anyone for transmissible illnesses, only for aches and pains sorts of stuff. But according to my understanding there are plenty of asymptomatic carriers.

              • chattykerry says:

                How would you know if your aches and pains weren’t the symptoms of Covid-19? I think I was an asymptomatic carrier but am grateful to be fully inoculated now.

                • Leah says:

                  So true. A person could be going in for diabetes maintenance or routine bloodwork and still be a carrier. Some places take your temp upon entrance but a person can carry a germ before getting a fever . . .

  3. This is so scary, Leah. We have them too in our Country, but not so much, but still very horrifying. So relieved you’re all save! Pawkisses for a peaceful week ahead🐾😽💞

    • Leah says:

      Thanks you Little Binky and Granny, we appreciate your kind words! The kitties thank you too. I’m sorry you have to contend with these awful storms in your country, too. Cheers and Meows and Head Bonks from Leah and the kitties!

  4. meowmeowmans says:

    My goodness, that is utterly terrifying. We are so glad you survived! Tracey and I have discussed this before, and tornadoes are the scariest natural phenomenon we can imagine. We’ve been through hurricanes (we live on the East Coast), wildfires and earthquakes (I was born and raised in California), and they just don’t frighten us as much as the prospect of a tornado. We actually had a small one touch down less than a 1/2 mile from our house two years ago. It was headed right at us, and lifted off of the ground before it got here. – Kevin (meowmeowmans)

    • Leah says:

      Thank you so much for the good wishes, Kevin, and the kitties thank you too! Tornadoes are really horrific but all those other natural disasters are pretty bad too. I’m so glad the one that was so close by you did lift! A lot of them do, on one of our March stormy days this year a few that were being tracked were said to have lifted. ~ Cheers and Meows, Leah and kitties

  5. WOW!!! I too have been in an F3 Tornado in Michigan back in August 1977…..it was the most terrifying, utterly exhilarating experience of my Life Leah!!
    I am so glad you & hubby & the 4 leggeds survived. Please stay safe.
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen & **purrss** BellaDharma

    • Leah says:

      Wow Sherri-Ellen, I’m so sorry you had to go through that tornado in Michigan! All windstorms are horrific, and it only takes about a 50 mph straight-line wind, or even slower, to take down a tree. I’m so glad you survived, and the kitties and I thank you for your kind words! You stay safe too always ~ Cheers and Meows and Purrs and Hugs to you and BellaDharma!

  6. Correne says:

    That’s so scary. So glad you were safe.

  7. I too have had experiences with tornadoes, that was one of the reasons I moved to where I live now. I hope that you, your family and animals fair well through this season.
    Here we are coming up on the annual spring runoff and we could have flooding this year, then we get fire season. I needed this reminder to get the cat carriers out and by the door and get the “go” bags ready. We send purrayers that everyone is safe and healthy this year!

    • Leah says:

      Sorry to hear you’ve had experience with those awful storms and hoping you are now out of the area for tornadoes! Floods and fires are horrible too and I sure hope you don’t have any! Thanks so much for all the good wishes for safety and health, we send those back to y’all, too! Cheers and Meows!

  8. Pam Lazos says:

    I’ve never seen a full blown tornado but have seen one of those mini ones that spring up randomly. Good thing you and the cats survived it, Leah. Have a blessed day. xo

  9. Tornadoes are very scary things that nature punishes us with. Why? Who knows. When I lived in Southern Ontario, way back in 1978, there was a huge line of tornadoes that ripped through form about 20 miles from where I was, and onwards east-northeasterly, a huge and wide path of destruction and misery, and fatalities, too. When next I drove home, one of the nearby hit towns had a church beside the highway and all that was left was the basement. That storm came through about 645, if it had come through a wee bit later there would have been a meeting in there…so God made sure to keep those members all safe…
    They rebuilt that church and the neighboring school, which was also destroyed. I was in the new church, and the members had found little bits of this and that, such as pages from the hymn books and pieces of the building, so there is a sort of museum in there to commemorate that horrid event.

    When our boys were in middle school, there was a small but intense tornado that came down about a mile from our home…way too close for comfort. We hear the sirens go off, and know to respect them…taking kids, pets and ourselves into our cellar.

    With all our technical knowledge we still cannot control anything about the weather, can we?
    Sorry you had to go through all of that horror…and we hope it never happens to you again. Having h=said that we might have severe thunderstorms here later today…oh, dear, here we go again…at least we now get some warning to go to shelter.

    Hugs to you and yours. May God protect you and keep you safe.

    • Leah says:

      Ingrid, thank you for all your kind words and hugs, and the hopes that we stay safe. Back to you also and many blessings too. I didn’t grow up in “official” tornado country although I know they affect the entire continent, and have something to do with the position of the Gulf of Mexico . . . perhaps. Anyway I struggle with the why a lot.
      I’m glad you have a cellar, those are the safest places. In the US region where I live, cellars and basements are rare. So the smallest, most interior rooms, away from windows, are the safest. We were fortunate because we were in an older house built with a lot of techniques that are not used now. We were in the bathroom in the oldest part of the house where the walls and and ceilings did hold up although the roof was torn off. However all the windows broke and winds entered and threw glass and furniture everywhere . . . the story is in the post “Tornado on the Ground” here, it’s long, and scary.
      Yesterday I watched a show done by the weather person whose coverage saved our lives, James Spann, and I kind of wished I hadn’t, it was heart-rending. He talked about the people who lost their lives, throughout the state actually, as there were 62 tornadoes in my state alone, and 252 fatalities. (Tornadoes were widespread throughout the US southeast that day.) Many were children, and five people in one family were killed, leaving one child alive; some were university students. At a memorial event in 2012 for those who died in my town. I cried through the whole thing.
      I hope you and no one has to go through these horrible storms again, but they seem to be more frequent now, with changing weather patterns. Stay safe!

  10. Bernadette says:

    I’m glad you survived, and so interesting about keeping a piece of that tornado damage in your new house. My first thought is always for my cats, and I’m sure that was your thought too. Where I am near Pittsburgh the topography has kept most tornadoes at a distance for decades, though just an hour north of me is “Tornado Alley” where tornadoes hit at least once a year, and many, many warnings. In 1985 a total of 43 tornadoes, including a few F4 and one F5 tornadoes, ripped through farmland and small towns. Of all the weather types, I am glad we are fairly safe from tornadoes here.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you for your good wishes, Bernadette, we appreciate them! Interesting about some areas being less tornado-prone since I’ve always thought some ground conditions might influence which places were hit – that’s after watching for decades and seeing similar paths in multiple instances. Roughly speaking they tell us that warm moist Gulf air running into cold fronts from the west is the reason we have them so frequently in this region. There were 26 small ones in the state on St. Patrick’s Day this year. A reason to love hot weather when it gets hot and stays hot lol! I’m glad you live in an area where there aren’t as many of these darn winds!

  11. 15andmeowing says:

    Glad you, your hubby and the cats survived. I can’t even imagine how scary that was to go through. XO

  12. Caren says:

    I have been obsessed with tornadoes since I was a kid. thank COD you all were safe!!! We DO have them in Michigan and also had them when I lived in Ohio, thankfully I have never had one that close though!!

    • Leah says:

      Caren thank you so much for all your good wishes, the kitties and I appreciate it! I had heard of tornadoes in Michigan and even Wisconsin. I’m glad you’ve never experienced any!

  13. Pretty frightening. I once saw one while driving as did as the advisory says, and headed away from it; it certainly got my heart going. So glad you were okay – what an awful experience.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you for your good wishes, Lynette, we appreciate them! I’m so glad you didn’t get caught in that one you saw!

  14. Very rare for tornadoes here in Western WA but earthquakes are what I fear most, but you can’t see them coming.

    • Leah says:

      Earthquakes are pretty scary, but at least they don’t come in two seasons a year. In this area we have two tornado seasons, one in spring and a “secondary” one in November and December.

  15. catscue says:

    Tornadoes are so frightening and so very destructive, a beautiful post to remember that day. Thank you so much for your kind words on our post for our sweet Pip.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you catscue, the kitties and I appreciate it. My heart goes out to you about your Pip kitty, I am so sad for you.

  16. Brian Frum says:

    Those things are really scary and that outbreak was too big and bad. We’re glad y’all were and are okay though.

  17. Charlee: “Yikes! That must have been one scary storm!”
    Chaplin: “We are glad you came through it unharmed!”
    Charlee: “We haven’t had any tornadoes here. We did run away from a wildfire once, but it never reached our house, fortunately!”

    • Leah says:

      Charlee and Chaplin we are glad you have experienced no tornadoes as they are the pits! That is scary about the fire too and we are glad it did not affect your home!

  18. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and the like show us that we are pretty powerless against nature’s wrath.

  19. Platypus Man says:

    Scary stuff. I’m so pleased you guys and your cats made it through safely. Were the cats traumatised in some way, or did they quickly put the experience behind them?

    • Leah says:

      Thank you for your good wishes, Platypus Man! The kitties had to be transported to our place in the country and two of them rode in the carrier silently and peacefully together, so I do think they were shaken up by the storm. Because we had to quickly transfer them into a house with two other kitties, they hid at first and it’s hard to say what kept them spooked, but they did get used to everything fairly quickly. Sadly my Mom’s third cat, Tiger, ran out of the wrecked house after the storm and into a place full of debris with lots of hiding places. For months we searched and searched and never found him. On the day it happened the police and fire dept. dept did not let us stay at the house long enough to find him because they were worried about gas leaks and other safety issues. I can’t fault them for that but my heart hurts because we lost track of Tiger. I hope he found a good home; there were a lot of people in town taking care of stray kitties in the aftermath. He was under a bed during the storm and we are certain he wasn’t injured.

      • Platypus Man says:

        I’m sure a kind kitty lover somewhere will have given Tiger the shelter and succour he needed. It’s good to know that the other kitties came to terms with what happened. In my experience cats are very resilient, and it sounds as if they managed to put the ordeal behind them.

  20. pollymorse says:

    That was scary and intense. So glad you guys are okay. God bless and take care everyone!!

  21. Dearest Leah,
    Yes, living in the USA makes you encounter severe weather in some form!
    Happy you made it through alive, including your kitties. Sad for all those that perished and/or lost all they ever had.
    We once were in The Netherlands when the cat-sitter called and told us that she could not get to the house to feed the kitties… all roads were closed off due to a severe tornado and trees on roads and houses. When a police agent later guided her via another road, she said when I arrived it was surreal, not a limb was off at your place and look all around! Pieter said, having your home blessed by a Priest sure does have its value. After returning home, over a week later, we still got silent while driving around the neighborhood… Unreal and it teaches us over and over again, how STRONG the forces of Mother Nature really are!
    But for driving in any tornado would be plain stupid.

    • Leah says:

      Yikes that sounds pretty scary in the Netherlands and I’m so glad your home was not damaged! You are right, natural forces can be really powerful and we all need to stay mindful of that. The alerts are so frequent in this region, with so many times that conditions are favorable for severe weather but then something changes and it doesn’t happen, that a lot of people just ignore them. That may have changed somewhat since 4/27/11 when there were so many tornadoes in the state that day . . . we definitely plan our days around the forecasts now . . . Hugs in return from the kitties and me!

  22. KDKH says:

    I grew up in tornado alley in west Texas. Tornados are my worst fear. When I am anxious, they chase me in my dreams. When I took a job in Colorado in an area not known for tornados, it was a great relief. The basements they have here also brought a sense of safety. I am glad you survived the tornado 10 years ago; here’s to surviving whatever the future brings. I hope you have a peaceful tornado season this year!

    • Leah says:

      I can understand the dreams after growing up them. I didn’t but have lived in tornado country for 55 years. Basements are no doubt the safest areas but they are rare where I live now. Thanks for the good wishes, KDKH, they are much appreciated! We’ve already had a couple of scary days this spring but hopefully the season is winding down!

  23. I got goosebumps reading this. That same year, in April (Good Friday nonetheless), we had an EF-4/5 tornado where I live (less than a mile from where I live and less than a mile from where I was at the time – one east, the other west of the path). I admit that I underestimated tornadoes for years – sometimes scoffing at the tornado sirens – but that day was a very sobering experience. Sending our love, a huge hug and prayers for healing to you.

    • Leah says:

      That was an active year for tornadoes . . . I’m so glad you weren’t in the one that came so near to you! I understand why people don’t always take the alerts seriously because alerts are so frequent in the area I live in. After so many predictions of possible serious storms that fortunately, don’t happen because the atmospheric conditions change so rapidly, people do start to ignore them. It took us awhile to realize that day would be serious and we made it into the safe room just in time! Thanks so much for all your good thoughts, we appreciate them! And a huge hug back atcha!

  24. John says:

    I’m glad you all survived! Tornadoes are a factor in my decision to stay in Nevada. My mother told me a story about her and some friends who could hear the Beecher Tornado that killed so many in 1953. No chance of them here, just earthquakes…


    • Leah says:

      I read the link about the Beecher Tornado today, John, and it was chilling. That was serious and intense and there were so many fatalities, how sad. Earthquakes are certainly scary but probably less frequent than windstorms. Thanks for your good wishes!

      • John says:

        Your welcome. I don’t know when the last big quake hit Vegas, but there was a small one last year that was centered south of the city which I didn’t k now happened. The windstorms have been frequent this spring. 68 or so today but this weekend we should hit 90 degrees. The summer sizzle is slowly returning to the valley. 🌴🔥🌵

  25. Pastor Cathy says:

    I am Kansas born. Know tornadoes well. Glad you survived.

    • Leah says:

      Cathy, thank you for your good wishes!
      Didn’t you have a WordPress blog? I’m concerned because your name does not go to your blog, it just goes to WordPress.
      Wordpress Help & Support, which you should be able to find on your dashboard, could help you fix it and make it go to your site.
      Thanks again, and Meows.

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