Shovelbum26 Thread

Not creepy, definitely scary.

My parent's house got hit by a tornado when I was in High School. You don't realize how fast those things happen until you've been in that situation.

We live in rural North Carolina, not exactly Tornado Alley, but we do get some bad storms now and again. My dad had this habit of liking to sit out and watch thunderstorms come in. We were all inside when we hear him yelling for us to come out. We walk out and the sky just looks surreal. There was a wall of black clouds sweeping towards our house at a disturbingly fast pace.

When I say black, I don't mean really dark grey, or steely blue. I mean black. Jet black clouds. Like an ink cloud from a giant octopus was squirted into the sky. I've never seen it before in my life, not even on a video, and hope to never see it again.

So we were pretty freaked out by the clouds and the wind was picking up. I mean those clouds were moving fast. Someone, I think my Mom, said something to the effect of maybe we should get inside, just to be safe. But things start going crazy even before we can turn around. The wind goes from a 7 out of 10 on the windy scale to a 25 in like 3 seconds flat. We turn to get inside and I'm the last to go in the door. I try to pull it closed behind me but the wind is sucking the door open. I have to put both hands on the knob and jerk back with my full weight to get the door to shut.

At this point it's probably been 45 seconds since my dad called us outside.

We run to the hallway and start throwing things out of the closet under the stairs and climbing in. The whole house is full of this absolutely indescribable roaring noise. It was like a jet was taking off on our roof, or a train was driving through the living room. It wasn't so much sound as a physical force. It made your head throb it was so loud. You could feel it constantly in the pit of your stomach, like the boom from a loud bass speaker, but instead of having a beat it was just constant. It felt like your eyeballs were quivering in your head. The preassure changes from the wind also screws with your sense of balance. I kept getting that sense of vertigo you feel when standing at the top of a cliff looking down. It was an absolute sensory overload.

We all jump under the stairs and shut the door, when we realize we had left the dog out in the house. My Mom opens the door and yells for the dog, which comes barreling into the closet like a bat out of hell. We shut the door. At this point it's been maybe a minute and half, just 90 seconds, since we were sitting in the kitchen chatting and my dad yelled at us to come outside and look at these crazy clouds. That's how long it took to go from normal evening to absolute terror.

We sat under the stairs for maybe that much time again. Two minutes, probably three at most. It seemed like longer of course. Everything was shaking. I was just waiting for the walls to tear apart around us, or debris to start smashing through the door. Then the sound passed and we came out.

The house was still standing around us. So far so good. We go back out on the front porch and the door won't open. I give it a heave and push it open a few feet and squeeze out. The porch is destroyed. We had a small barn sitting in front of our house and it had been obliterated. The tornado had picked up the barn, turned it into kindling and threw it at our house. The posts on the front poach were all destroyed and it was just covered with broken glass, nails, shattered two-by-fours and peices of partical board. Looking out over our pasture in front of our house, where we kept a horse and some cows, and there were just masses of trees down everywhere, one stand of pines to the South of our house, probably about two or three acres of trees in total, were just gone. Our cars were pockmarked with hail damage. Our full-sized pontoon boat that we used for family trips to the lake on the weekends had been picked up from the front yard, rotated 90 degrees, and deposited in the back yard about 50 yards away. Behind our house a massive Poplar tree was down over the driveway, and had fallen just feet from the house.

Yet other things remained weirdly untouched. One of our barns was destroyed, but the other, standing maybe 30 yards away, wasn't even missing a shingle.

All in all we were incredibly lucky. The house sustained major damage, despite it's appearance though. The roof had to be replaced because the suction from the Tornado had made it unstable. In fact, to this day you can still see cracks in the walls in the corners of the top floor, where the tornado had nearly sucked the roof off the house.

But, we came out, none of us hurt, and even slept in our own beds that night. So when I see stories like those out of Oklahoma a few days ago I always think back to those few minutes of terror, and think how luck I was that those weren't my last moments, as they were for so many there.

TL;DR: Parents house hit by a tornado. We all survived, but a lot of our stuff got fucked up. It was terrifying.

Edit: Proof It was the one at the top, the 1998 (I was right, same year I graduated High School). The pertinent bit of info in that one is the supercell that went from Caldwell to Mecklenburg County. You can see that the site lists the affected county as "Lincoln", which is actually just a hair North of where I lived in northern Gaston County, directly West of Mecklenburg County.