June 4, 2013


Thank you guys for all your kind comments on yesterday's post. It was a scary time for us. Thankfully, that part didn't last long.

If you've ever wondered how a tornado sounds, I found a great example last week when I took my car through the car wash. You know the dryer at the end? You know how it's very loud and kind of shakes your car because of the force? Well, that pretty much describes it. Add in constant ear popping and large objects being thrown against your car and you've pretty much simulated a tornado. Oh, and don't forget to crank up the heat in your car too because it's super hot and humid…especially in a storm shelter.

Ok, now on to the damage.

Like I said yesterday, I was surprised to see walls still standing in our house. I told my sister while we were down in the cellar that this tornado was way worse than the May 3, 1999 tornado where we lost our first house. Turns out I was right. Unfortunately. I think if the core of this tornado was a little further north, I would have stepped out to find our house as a pile of wood and our content.

What was the damage to the house?

Tornado Damage Front Porch

What the tornado did do was rip off the front porch of our house (it ran across almost the entire length of our house), bust out all of our north windows (The window in the girls' room was the only south window that was busted out), ripped our entire second story (the man cave/storage area) off the top of the garage, ripped our our shed apart, and crumpled the above ground pool.

We have no idea where any of the porch is nor do we know what happened to the pool cover. We are also missing a metal windmill that was anchored into the ground in the front yard, all of my Christmas decorations, almost all of the girls baby clothes and toys (the ones we found are ruined and not salvageable) and several other items we had stored in the man cave and shed are completely gone.

The inside of the house looks like someone threw in a bunch of glass, some boards, pieces of sheet metal (that we have no idea where they came from), water and mud and ran it threw a blender. There is mud all over the walls and carpet. There was glass and other debris all through the house (including debris stuck in/through the walls). There was enormous amounts of water pouring into the garage from what used to be the man cave. There were things from rooms that had been blown into other rooms. We think debris was blown into the house through the north windows and what actually made it to the girl's room was sucked out of their window. I suspect this because the things missing from the house that we actually did find were in the back yard. There were no contents of the house in the front yard.

Tornado Damage backyard Tornado Damage Master Tornado Damage Stairs
Tornado Damage 1st sight Tornado Damage Living Room

We had a wonderful group of people from Samaritan's Purse (I'll be posting about this group at a later time) other member's of our church, and family who came and helped us clean up inside and outside the house. I am so unbelievably thankful for them because I think we would still be doing clean up if it weren't for them.

Since we've had several storms come through since the tornado, including another horrific storm that claimed more lives this past Friday, mold has started growing on/in the walls of the garage and at last check was quickly spreading throughout the house. The carpet I'm sure is starting to mold as well.

At this point, our insurance company is wanting to try to repair the house. What this means is that at minimum, they will gut it down to the frame and rebuild it. However, we are concerned about the structural integrity of the house so we are working with insurance to get this worked out. Ultimately, we won't know until the house is gutted and right now, we don't have any idea when that will be.

So what's next?

We will hopefully, move into our apartment this week. We've already moved some things over but due to being sicker than I've ever been, things still have yet to be unpacked. Once we get settled there, we begin the process of rebuilding. We expect this to take at least a year or more.

I'm sure I'll say this in every post for a while but I just can't thank you all enough for all the love, prayers, support and donations you have sent our way. You have no idea how much they have helped us…emotionally as well as spiritually.

Please also keep my family in your prayers as my sister's house was also destroyed (still waiting to hear if it's totaled but the roof is basically gone and a few walls are on the verge of falling over). Also, my grandparents who lived next door to me, my great aunt's house that is two doors down from us, and another aunt's house were completely totaled.


  1. So sorry about all this, Heather! Your family is in our prayers. I love Samaritan's Purse, btw. So glad they were in Moore helping with the cleanup! I pray that the process with your insurance company goes smoothly. I know how frustrating that process can be. I worked in insurance before kids.

  2. I'm so sorry, Heather. I can't even imagine. We have only had one tornado in our area, and that was in 1985. I was so young, I don't even remember it. My thoughts and prayers have been with you and your family and will continue to be!

  3. Heather -- I am so so sorry for your loss I can't imagine. I'll be praying for the situation with your insurance company! If there is anything you need please let me know and I would love to send it to you!


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