Twister Rips City [Video]
Do you remember where you were on January 3rd., 2000 at 4:10 p.m?I remember it so very well. I wasn't feeling my best and would've been home if a mandatory work meeting wasn't scheduled for 3:00 that afternoon. I remember the sirens going off and everyone being ushered to the middle of our building. I've always loved storms and never panic or worry about what's to come. I'm the fool outside watching them roll in, taking pictures! This particular afternoon felt different so I huddled with my workmates and listened to Wayne Hart broadcast the approaching storm. (see video below to relive those moments).
What I remember most were these 3 words. Tornado. Tamarack Rd. Carter Rd. I was already sick, but felt physically ill as I knew my house, and more importantly my pets, were in the path of the tornado. As soon as it felt safe I hopped in my car and was one of the only cars on the road that quickly. I didn't even see emergency vehicles yet, but I had to get home. My direction home took me past Winn-Dixie and I knew from what I saw, we were in trouble as a community. I turned on Sherm Rd. and it was okay in most areas, some trees down, etc. but nothing of major concern.....until, I got closer to my neighborhood. In 2000 I lived on Comanche Place and as soon as I started turning on roads to get home, I saw dazed people coming out of their homes. It truly looked like a war zone. I kept having to turn around to find a way onto my street because of trees, utility lines, etc. I finally made it home and got inside (electricity was out which made everything so much worse) and stepped on glass and felt air blowing through the house which wasn't a good sign. I started screaming for my girls and it was silent. I found a flashlight and starting running all over the house, until I found them. The best part of the whole ordeal was looking underneath a bed and seeing four scared eyes staring back at me. I had two persian cats and they hated each other with a passion, but not on this afternoon. They were huddled together and wouldn't come out for a while. We were so fortunate as when daylight came, we saw much worse outside our second floor bedroom window which backs up to Surrey Drive East.
This picture is from the backside of our house. We never saw our gas grill or patio furniture again! The house next door had a tree pretty much slice it in half. The lady inside that house was in the tub when the storm came and the tree and wind sucked a dog right into the house. She was shocked when a dog appeared in front of her (which she took to the vet and was okay). I never heard if the pup was reunited with it's owner. I hope so!
This home was directly outside our window and what we woke up to. There was so much devastation. I remember seeing news helicopters flying overhead all day and for days to come. It was surreal.
The images were incredible.
It was so cold and there were no hotel rooms for days. We finally got a room on night three.
The community and surrounding communities came through in a big way. We had so much help and the Red Cross was so important during this time.
We were one of the last places in the city to regain power. It was on day 12. The crews (came from all over the country to help) worked night and day and did their best which we appreciated.
Where were you on January 3rd, 2000?