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Tornado in my daughter’s town

27 days ago
last modified: 27 days ago

My DD called me last night in hysterics, a tornado hit her street (and entire town). They — DD, SIL, dog, two cats — took shelter in a hall bath with no windows. She said it was all so loud (I’ve been in two tornadoes in my life, one last March, the sounds are indeed horrifying).

The last time we spoke, around 10pm, her phone battery was at almost zero and I haven’t heard from her since then. The power has apparently not been restored yet.

We don’t know the extent of damage to her house yet … we do know large trees were felled in her front yard, her backyard was completely flooded, fencing was down, SIL’s truck was damaged by hail and the tornado (her Mustang was in garage). I’m sure their roof is in bad shape.

Her neighbors across the street had a huge tree fall through their roof, crushing their house.

I’m looking up news, seeing pictures, and the town has suffered such extensive and destructive damage … homes with roofs completely torn off, collapsed homes, businesses damaged, trees down everywhere, water and gas mains broken, power lines down everywhere, vehicles picked up and thrown around, and on and on. One homeowner got a video of it; you can clearly see the twister.

So far no deaths or serious injuries have been reported, which is a miracle after seeing pictures.

I‘m so thankful they’re all ok.

I just want to hear from her this morning, I’m feeling very shaky and unsettled. I wish I could be with her. I had no idea last night as it was all happening, which is probably a good thing.

Comments (92)

  • 27 days ago

    Jilly! I can totally feel your completly warranted anxiety. Also so happy to hear your DD and SIL are okay. Tornadoes are so freaking scary. Here in hurricane land, at least we have extensive warning periods so we can prepare and get out of harm's way. Keep us posted when you hear from her again. And yes to the power banks for phones - I have one for travel but this is another important reason to have one on hand. Deep breaths...

    Jilly thanked rubyclaire
  • 27 days ago

    We gave each member of my family a power bank travel pack called Aickar as a gift many years ago. It has been very handy during power outages. It jumps cars and charges phones and much more.

    Jilly thanked njmomma
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  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Thank you all. ❤️

    Lars, I’m so sorry to hear your relative was killed in a tornado. So sad. :(

    Yes, that’s where DD is, I didn’t know of your ties there! I’m sure glad your brother and family are ok.

    They moved there because of SIL’s job (DD works from home).

    You know what I mean about I-35 traffic … it’s going to be a nightmare through there this weekend.

    I just watched a few dash cam videos — the number of big trees, debris, and power lines in the streets is unreal.

  • 27 days ago

    Oh Jilly your mama instincts are on high alert! Hoping they stay safe and unscathed. Tornados are wicked and unpredictable - and climate change has intensified every aspect of them. When a reporter asked about the increasing severity of storms the governor of KS minimized climate change impact and spouted something about the cyclical nature of storms. Go ahead, guess.

    Jilly thanked DLM2000-GW
  • 27 days ago

    Thank you, DLM. I’ve been reading a lot about that today, seeing graphs and studies, and absolutely believe climate change is a factor.

  • 27 days ago

    Oh Jilly, what a nightmare. You must be beside yourself. I hope your daughter and her family stay safe.

    Jilly thanked Bunny
  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Jilly, you must be so relieved that your loved ones are unharmed! The property damage will be a burden and annoyance for months to come, and if we can believe the national weather service, more storms and worse storms are in our future from climate change. When we lived in Florida I was on edge every hurricane season — my greatest fear was being separated from the kids during an emergency like that. It sounds like that fear just never goes away. Hugs to you and prayers for the continued safety of your family.

    Jilly thanked Kswl
  • 27 days ago

    @jilly - is your daughter in the Greenfield IA area? My husband is familiar with the town which we understand was raveged. Tornados are ruthless. Thankful your family was spared

    Jilly thanked fnmroberts
  • 27 days ago

    Fnm, no, she’s here in Texas. I do have family in Iowa, but not near Greenfield. I feel so bad for everyone there affected.

  • 27 days ago

    So glad your DD and SIL are ok. I can't imagine going thru a tornado, it has always been one of my biggest fears.

    Jilly thanked mollycats
  • 27 days ago

    Oh my gosh, Jilly. I am glad that your DD and SIL are ok. I saw some pics of the damage in Temple, and it is awful. It is terribly hot down here right now (heat indexes over 100), and actual temp in Austin is predicted to hit 100 this weekend. Anyway, I saw that they have opened some relief centers in Temple (if needed) and they can get to one. Sending hugs and prayers.

    Jilly thanked texanjana
  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    We just spoke (they found a car charger) … in the light of day, they’re finding more damage.

    I guess I misunderstood earlier, they do have busted windows. I remember her saying while in the bathroom they heard glass shattering, but I thought it was the neighbors’ windows or other sounds.

    They’re trying to pick up debris, while it rains off and on, she sounded exhausted. Still no power. The elderly couple across the street had to leave their house, it was so damaged.

    Thanks, all, for caring about my baby with me. ❤️

  • 27 days ago

    Ugh What a nightmare for you and your daughter and the town. What a relief they are unharmed.

    Jilly thanked happy2b…gw
  • 27 days ago

    I just saw on the local news that it was an EF4!

    Jilly thanked texanjana
  • 27 days ago

    Wow, Jana, I hadn’t heard that yet. The more I’m seeing, though, the more I’m not surprised. Massive destruction everywhere.


  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    I’m very late to this thread. I’m sorry not to have sent good wishes to your family earlier, @Jilly.

    Jilly thanked Fun2BHere
  • 27 days ago

    Fun, please don’t apologize! Thank you for your well wishes. :)

  • 27 days ago

    Sending wishes of support to your daughter, SIL, and to you. We know you will help her put back together the home you helped her create. Hang in, sorry for her damage, best til the electricity returns.

    Several winters ago we lost electricity for 4 days. it was really cold in our all electric house. here are my before and after photos



    Jilly thanked lisaam
  • 27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Jilly, just got online and read about your harrowing day! So hard to be so far away when your kids are in harms way and you feel powerless. Glad to hear they are physically safe and hope they are able to get their house and cars functioning soon. Tornadoes are so scary and destructive and I'm guessing living thru one is something you would never forget.

    Jilly thanked lizbeth-gardener
  • 27 days ago

    Jilly, I'm so glad your DD is okay and you have talked to her again. We were under a tornado watch last night but watched it scoot north of us. DH has been watching baseball and other things. I have been online but didn't see anything until reading through this thread and then searching for it. I get news alerts on my phone and nothing? Crazy. Well at least Houston has nearly all power restored (17,000 still without power -- down from nearly a million) so those workers can move on to the next emergency. They got over 900k people reconnected in less tha a week. They are shutting down a freeway (both directions) this weekend to deal with the downed power transmission towers (they have something temporary working for now).


    As for holiday weekend travel along I-35, I suspect the freeway is already cleared and at least partially open. They can block the exits and put up those mobile display signs to tell people through travel and stopping on the roadside are prohibited so people traveling will have to drive on to the next town for pit stops.


    My brother lives in Round Rock and last year (fall) he may have been hit by the same storm you have talked about hitting you. They had softball size hail that destroyed their roof, damaged siding, totaled 2 vehicles, broke a number of windows and let in enough rain that their floor has to be replaced and they said the houses around them for about a mile were about the same. Crazy weather. Stay safe and let us know how your daughter is doing as you hear more.

    Jilly thanked lascatx
  • 27 days ago

    Oh my gosh, Jilly! Just horrifing ..all they’ve been through, and you not knowing. Gut wrenching as you could only wonder and pray. So relieved they made it through unscathrd.

    Jilly thanked martinca_gw sunset zone 24
  • 26 days ago

    I’m so sorry to read this and hear that you had lapses of time in which your daughter couldn’t be reached. These kinds of events are so frightening and I’m sorry your daughter and son-in-law had to experience it. Thankfully they are unharmed. Hang in there!

    Jilly thanked jlsch
  • 26 days ago

    I’m sorry I’m also late commenting. Jilly, so glad you’ve heard from your DD and SIL and they are safe. They are very fortunate to be able to stay in their home. But still so very scary and hard. Tornado damage is awful.

    Jilly thanked OutsidePlaying
  • 26 days ago

    I also seem to have missed this thread and just read through- somewhat relieved to hear you've been more in touch but so sorry for the destruction and the aftermath. Will be sending out positive vibes- hoping things improve steadily.

    Jilly thanked salonva
  • 26 days ago

    Hooray for the power. Her cleanup will go so much faster now.

    Jilly thanked morz8 - Washington Coast
  • 26 days ago

    Yay for power! Now she can charge her phone and stay in contact with you!

    I'm terrified of tornadoes. We had one pass over our house once and even that was super scary. I could hear it coming; the sound was a solid roar and then the air was absolutely full of swirling debris. I'd never seen or heard anything like that, and hope I never do again.

    I gave my son one of those cell phone-size power banks, and I think I'll buy one for myself. It never hurts to be prepared.

    Friday, I'm so thankful that your Dad survived that horrible experience. The poor man must have been terrified!

    Jilly, I hope you hear from your daughter again soon and I wish the best for them.

    Jilly thanked woodrose
  • 26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Woodrose, so glad you were ok! It is hard to describe the sound … just this awful roaring and things being hit, flung around, etc … then not knowing what’s it’s going to do.

    ETA: Lascatx, sorry, I thought I’d responded to you earlier … so glad your brother and family were ok!

    Hailstorms are so terrifying — I’ll never forget this one. Our DD was little and we’d planned to go to the festival, but heard it might rain, so didn’t.

  • 26 days ago

    Sending hugs for you, your daughter and all involved. The toranado sounds terrifying and the aftermath extremely difficult. So sorry for all, hoping for the best recovery possible.

    Jilly thanked jill302
  • 26 days ago

    Jilly, just now reading this. I am so sorry your dd had to go through this terrifying ordeal! I will keep your family in my prayers as they go through the clean up process. 🙏

    Jilly thanked nini804
  • 26 days ago

    Hi Jilly, so sorry for what you all have endured, and hoping now you can decompress a bit. Truly miraculous that no lives were lost.

    Wishing them the best in what lies ahead- the worst is over!

    Jilly thanked ninasmom
  • 25 days ago

    Glad to see they have power -- everything is easier with power, communication and a good shower.

    My brother in RR lives near a hospital and didn't lose power during that 2021 freeze. He also says it is because of the hospital. You may be on to something -- though I know they have generators and are set up tp run without a glitch. When DH had his knee replacement, they hospital had a power outage and I was wondering what it was like in the OR at the moment. It lasted a number of minutes but when I mentioned it to the surgeon, he said the OR doesn't 'even flicker.

    I hope the windows are the greatest of your daughters damage, though those can take months to get replaced.


    Jilly thanked lascatx
  • 25 days ago

    I remember bad hail storms, and I was always afraid that the hail was going to break windows, but it mainly damaged roofs, and we did not get any broken windows. Did hail break your daughter's windows or was it the wind? Either way, it would be very frightening.

    Here's a newscast from KCEN that shows Pignetti's restaurant in downtown Temple,

    where I used to go with my family when I was visiting on holidays. I have some photos of my family and me in front of this restaurant, but I cannot find them - they must be that old. This was my favorite restaurant in downtown Temple.

    Jilly thanked Lars
  • 25 days ago

    Lars, wow, I hadn’t seen that video before! Thanks for sharing it!

    It was a tree limb that broke the window. It’s an original window (house was built in the ’60s), so might be challenging to replace. But I know how much worse it could have been — I’m so heartbroken for people who lost their homes.

    We’re hoping to see them next weekend and I’m planning to hug her and not let go. :)

  • 25 days ago

    Jilly,  I have not read this thread to know all of what's happened but I hope your daughter and her DH are OK.  As long as they are, the rest can be fixed, even though it is heartbreaking. Sending good thoughts to you and her.

    Jilly thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • 23 days ago

    Also just seeing this, Jilly. So stressful! I'm sure you're anxious to get to her, and she will be so happy to have you there. Thinking of you all.

    Jilly thanked gardener123
  • 23 days ago

    I was thinking of your daughter yesterday, Jilly, when I got an alert on my phone. Then another. We looked outside and on radar and the weather looked like it would miss us. But I plugged in my phone an tablet just to be sure they were fully charged, just in case! We listened to the sirens from points west, getting closer. The cat took himself to the basement when he heard thunder. We turned on the local news where they tracked it in the towns just west of us. Then, it all seemed to peter out, they finished their coverage, and BOOM the heavens opened up. No winds or tornados, but boy did it pour. (we always seem to get short shrift in the weather coverage.)

    Jilly thanked bpath
  • 23 days ago

    My sister's town, Celina TX got hit night before last-seven people killed. Their house no damage-but two blocks over-devastation. She said TX just does not have the same severe weather/tornado warning coverage as in Oklahoma-which can be overboard at times.

    Jilly thanked OllieJane
  • 23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    Thanks, all. ❤️

    I disagree that we don’t have good storm warnings here, at least in general. I’m sure there can be isolated incidents for whatever reason.

    We’re about an hour from the tragic storms that happened this weekend. My heart breaks for those affected. It was horrendous.

  • 21 days ago

    Glad she is well and I am sure you are counting the hours until you see her. 🥺

    Jilly thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • 21 days ago

    Jilly, we haad a line of storms run through yesterday. Not too bad here, but we did have a couple of big gusts. The airport had 75 mph winds and there was a tree down across the road not far from me. A large group of people were without power again and they showed apartments with torn up and blown off tarps -- hit by the storm a couple of weeks ago and then hit again. How many times can you dry up, clean up and replace things? More in store this weekend ad hurrican season starts Saturday,. My hair will be completely grey by fall.

    Jilly thanked lascatx
  • 21 days ago

    lascatx, I saw that at DFW airport, planes were pushed away from gates by the high gusts of wind!

    We had a bunch of huge old oaks fall down in streets nearby due to strong winds this week. I think the awful summer last year stressed the trees so much, they can’t endure these storms we’re getting.

  • 21 days ago

    I'm also late to this topic and Jilly, big hugs to you and your family. Has your daughter checked out storm shelters, maybe paying a monthly amount? I wonder if they're cheaper in the off season which should be any day now, you'd think.

    This May is the first time we've been in our cellar in years. I can't even think when we were last down there & this month OK had so many tornadoes it's unbelievable.

    So far we had one a few miles past us which I took a photo of, two weeks ago there was one about 4 miles away coming straight towards us then it lifted, and a few days later there was a tornado one mile south of us. Had it moved one mile north which their movement is generally NE, no telling what would have happened. All of them at night! And more tonight, tomorrow night and on and on.

    The only plus is I found my favorite water bottle that'd been missing for a few years. :)

    BTW, I saw a trailer for the new Twister movie which was filmed in my area, and it was THE stupidest thing ever. All these people were at a rodeo in OK when a twister suddenly hits.

    Oklahomans are weather aware & we close shop early if we know bad storms will arrive within hours, and no way no how would anyone go to a rodeo. Right, Ollie? :)


    Jilly thanked Oakley
  • 21 days ago

    Thanks, Oak … I’m glad y’all have been safe this season!

    I’m thinking we need more basements in Texas!

  • 21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    Jilly, do they even build basements anymore? The thing about basements is the whole house could fall in on them. Well, that's what I heard. :)

    Not sure if you remember this tornado in Moore, OK in 1999. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Bridge_Creek%E2%80%93Moore_tornado

    which had the "highest wind speeds ever measured globally," and it was huge and on the ground for a long long time. That's when we built the cellar. Moore was destroyed again in 2013 with an EF5 tornado.

    We have terminix spray it every spring because the first time we used it I had DS2 go down first with a flashlight to check for bugs and there was a black widow spider under one of the benches!

    Just remembered, our family in VA would never visit us because of tornadoes. haha

    Jilly thanked Oakley
  • 20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Oak, not that I’m aware of (in Texas). There are a few old houses in my area with walk-out basements, but it’s rare.

    I do remember the Moore tornadoes, just awful. The next year, we had the F3 that went through downtown Fort Worth.

    This skyscraper was eventually razed:





    I remember streets being closed off for weeks due to falling glass from buildings.

  • 20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Oakley, YES! Meteorologists in Oklahoma are THAT good! We know way ahead of time.

    I always remember in my younger years, being told about the 1947 F5 tornado in Woodward, OK that was 1.8 miles wide. No warning of course, and killed 108 (I think) people that night.

    We were in car outrunning the May 3rd 1999 tornado and I remember we were listening to Mike Morgan (a meterologist on the TV news here) who was on the radio in the car yelling "Get your butt in the shelter or your safe place!!" "Butt" not being necessarily appropriate TV talk-but he didn't care, and we knew he was serious and trying to warn people this was not a time to be messing around!

  • 20 days ago

    Jilly - I didn’t know about the tornado going through downtown Ft. Worth - we actually we just talking about how odd it was that tornados never seem to hit big cities (I remember working late one night as a 5th year associate on a big transaction in our office - which was downtown- we were on the 28th floor - but we never went down to the parking garage because none of us had ever known a tornado to hit a big city).


    Apparently, we were a bunch of stupid attorneys!!

    Jilly thanked dani_m08
  • 20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Dani, it was so wild that not every building downtown was hit hard. Some had slight damage, some heavy, some pretty much destroyed. You’d think a tornado of that strength would go through there like electric beaters mixing up cake batter.

    This church (foreground) and building weren’t on the same block as the skyscraper I showed above:





    This was from one of the skyscrapers:



    I’m with you, though … more rural areas get hit than large downtown areas, it seems.

  • 20 days ago

    Basements are still built, are if built correctly would not fall in on you. I have seen a house seperated from a basement during a hurricane (picture). Im sure there must be different building codes in areas where tornados are common.

    Jilly thanked HU-163897337
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