Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Great Tornado of 2014

As mentioned in Monday's post, The Sand Clan just returned home from a week and a half long vacation around Kansas and Missouri.

Vacation began after Brandon left work on Wednesday night (June 4th)--we packed the car, picked up some fast food, and hit the road for my parent's house (they were going to Missouri with us and we planned to caravan together that next morning).
"It's like a giant game of Tetris," -Brandon (and yes, we got this in and out of our car trunk each time we stopped)
Right as we were leaving Denver, I received a text from my aunt warning us of possible tornadoes out by my parent's house. It was looking pretty dark out east so I texted my mom to see if anything was happening; she told us it looked dark and rainy up north but they weren't having any problems.. so on we trekked. 

That's when the torrential downpour began.

Brandon managed to drive through the storm while I said multiple Hail Marys (I don't do storms; I once hydroplaned on the interstate in my little Impala and have been terrified to drive in the rain or snow ever since) and we eventually made it to my parent's house.


We unpacked what we needed for the night, visited, (mom and I) downloaded a walkie talkie app onto our phones so we could act like truck drivers during the drive, played with Jax, and waited for my brother to arrive. At around 10, my dad's phone began to ring--it was the gal who works for my parents asking if we were watching the news.

We were not.

She notified my dad of possible baseball sized hail headed straight toward our house.. in about ten minutes. Brandon and my dad walked outside to see which direction the storm coming from and whether or not we should move our car--it was really dark out and hard to tell, so dad and Brandon quickly cleared out a space in the garage (their garage was packed so I'm still not sure how they managed to make a spot in a matter of minutes..) and pulled it in.

That's when both Brandon's and my phones began to go crazy..

The NWS sent out an alert that there was a tornado in the area and that we needed to take cover. Right as my dad began closing the garage door and Brandon walked inside the house, we heard it. Hail began pounding against the house..




I grabbed Jax and ran downstairs with my family. My mom and I both kept trying to call my brother to tell him to stop wherever he was but we couldn't reach him. The hail continued getting even louder and more aggressive. The house was shaking. I can't remember what we were all talking about (we literally had to yell to talk to each other) but we froze when we heard the sound of shattering glass coming from upstairs. My dad rushed upstairs (the eastern Colorado farm kid came out of him right then) and Brandon ran after him, yelling for him to come back.

Neither of them came back.

Being the level headed person I am, I immediately assumed they had been sucked up by the tornado and began to bawl. I handed Jackson to my mom and slowly walked up the stairs.. I was greeted by broken glass, hail in the living room, my dad holding a blanket over the broken window, and Brandon running things into the other room. As quickly as the storm began, it let up and I raced back downstairs to check on Jax and my mom.

Jax was quiet (with huge eyes) and mom was frantic--we'd been trying to reach my brother for over 20 minutes now with no luck.

God was definitely looking out for us that night; my parents had only one broken window (ironically, it was the window that didn't break during the big storm in 2010), some minor damage on the older work vehicles, tree damage, and exterior/roof damage. It could have been much, much worse. Brandon, mom, and dad began cleaning up the glass, hail, and broken blinds around the house while I stayed downstairs, nursed Jax, and continued calling my brother. After 45 minutes of trying, he finally called me back (he'd been driving and didn't hear his phone)--he was fine and hadn't hit any bad weather.

It was a very late night and an even earlier morning (we were all up by 6 so we could get on the road) but Joey made it home, we were all safe (which is a miracle since we kept running upstairs to see what was happening), and that's all that mattered. A nearby town clocked in the winds at 111 MPH--I'm positive that it was the same at our house.

Our vacation got one "whirlwind" of start and I'm happy to report that the rest of the trip was pretty low key in comparison. I will have part two of our vacation (visiting Aunt Judy/Turin's wedding) hopefully written later this week!

Is the anticipation killing you?!


  1. So glad you guys, and for the most part the belongings, are all okay!

  2. Thanks Breenah! It was definitely an interesting start to our vacation, ha.


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