I was in one of the worst tornado’s in my state’s history and I have never gotten over it. Fridley, MN. I posted this a year ago today and plan on reposting it every May 6.
I tried really hard when my boys were small, not to show how scared I was as I didn’t want them to suffer the absolute fear I had. I respect them and know first hand what they can do. It was 44 years ago today and I was 7 years old.
There were 7 that night. I won’t ever, for the rest of my life, forget that day. My dad had taken a bunch of us kids to the Dairy Queen and we were sitting and eating our ice cream on one of the neighbors swing sets. My dad came running to get us and I remember thinking how funny the sky looked. It was a really weird light green and it was suddenly very still. He took us home and we went downstairs. After the first one went through my dad knew he would have to leave. He was a volunteer fireman and he saw us safely to our neighbors and then went to help people who were trapped, and worse, dead. One lady right on my street died. She was the grandmother of one of my friends. 13 people died in them totally. My parents and the neighbors tried putting on a brave front but I don’t know who they thought they were kidding, they were scared. Maybe having to be in front of kids helped them stay calm.
I can remember after the last one hit. It got eerily quiet. The air was different too. We went upstairs and it was the strangest thing. Our neighbors curtains were just kind of waving in the little breeze that was left but they were on the outside of the house. There was no glass in any of their windows. Half my block was gone. Can you imagine, there were no houses there anymore. I remember everyone just meeting in the middle of the street and the grown men were crying.
Our house only had minor damage. I also remember the National Guard was there and it was very unnerving having them drive up and down our street in those jeeps. We had to show ID to even get around. My school was also blown down so I remember having to finish the year at the high school. Take a look a few of these photo’s.
I’ve seen the movie Twister and I heard snickers that it was fakey. That nothing could fly through the air like that and not be hurt but that’s not true. Our neighbors were finding things that belonged to other people for months afterward that wasn’t hurt in the least. Picnic tables, toys, lawn chairs….all kinds of things.
I know a lot about tornado’s because I’m so afraid and because I respect the damage they can do.
So, please take care and watch the sky when storms are coming. I still get scared. Really scared and I hate it when my husband and son’s go outside to “watch” them move in. I can’t seem to help it.