By Amy Haldorson
The year was 1989. I was 8 years old. It’s one of those memorable days where every detail is ingrained in your memory. I remember the day being so dry and calm. The perfect recipe for a good storm, but I didn't know that at the time. My parents farmed and ran a dairy operation. My little brother and I were playing, as we did every day, just trying to stay out of trouble. When evening came, the sky got dark. In the blink of an eye, the wind was there. My dad ushered everyone in the house and down in the basement in case. It really is true about tornados sounding like a freight train. All we could do was wait and imagine what was happening outside. The sounds were so terrible, I wondered if the top of our house was even there. Then, just as fast as it came, it got quiet. My dad inched up the stairs to investigate. He looked outside and had a second to see the top of our barn had been completely been blown off. He saw the tornado in a distance and it looked like it had turned completely around. He ran back downstairs and seconds later, we listened to a second round of the freight train. Later, surveying the damage, we found hay bales everywhere and wooden timbers a 1/2 mile away, driven into the ground. Our barn had no top, but the bottom was intact and so was the house. Most importantly, no one was hurt. It’s a good idea to have a plan of action in the event a tornado threatens your family. Identify a safe place in your home where family and pets can gather. It should be on the lowest floor with no windows. If you live in a mobile home, find a structure nearby, as no mobile home is configured.
Know the difference:
A TORNDAO WATCH means a tornado is possible.
A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon.
Tornado Facts you may not know:
1. Tornados have touched down in every state at least once.
2. About 1200 tornados occur each year in the U.S.
3. Florida is the state with the most tornados.
4. Tornados can move entire houses a city block.
5. When a tornado sweeps over pond or lake, it can actually throw frogs and other small creatures in the air, making them "rain" down.
6. Tornado winds are the fastest on Earth.
7. Many people associate the sound of a freight train with the noise that tornados frequently make.
8. Hiding from tornados under an underpass is actually very dangerous, as it can create a devastating wind tunnel effect.
Posted on June 23rd, 2020