Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
 
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame
Projects
Visitors
Contests
Search

Yesterday a Tornado, Chad

Story ID:5870
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1958
Person:Scared Chelsea Kansas Kid
View Comments (1)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
Yesterday a Tornado, Chad

Yesterday I--was scared to death Chad

June the 10th.58 started out as a fine day. As I was getting ready to go to work in the afternoon I was looking out the West window of my house on North Arthur I saw a cloud in the sky like I never saw before.

The cloud looked like Whipped cream but the color was gray. As I looked out the window, I thought I saw a small baglike cloud drop out of the big cloud. I said to myself that it was my imagination and nothing more.

As I stared at the cloud I thought I saw a funnel cloud fall out of the big cloud. I was right the funnel changed to black when it touched the ground and picked up dirt and dust then I could see that it was a TORNADO.

We had two small children ( your Uncle Scott) about a year old and (your Mom) Lori that was just a couple months old. We tried to get the babies under the bed for safety from broken glass and debris in the air but the bed was so low that we couldn't get them under the bed..

We got into the car and drove 2 miles to a storm cave.
As we drove down Central to 623 South Topeka to the storm cave the tall trees obscured my view and I lost sight of the funnel. I was so scared that my foot was shaking on the gas pedal and I thought I might drive into the storm path and we might all be killed.

When we got to the storm cave Jay Lawrence and Iris, Don Lawrence and Ruth Ann, Mrs. Nina Lawrence, and others were in the cave.

Jay and Don held down the cave door and we could hear something big hitting the door, Jay looked and it was flat pieces of ice not many but a few.

Then it got so quiet that you could hear a feather drop for about two miles. After a few seconds here it came and it sounded like a freight train coming into the storm cave with us. Probably 15 seconds later it got quiet again, an eerie stillness.

Then all hell broke lose all the police sirens and fire sirens and ambulance sirens started at once and we knew that it was bad. When we peeked out of the cave, we saw window frames, screen doors and storm windows all over the back yard of 623 So. Topeka, El Dorado Kansas.

There were hundreds of homes either partially demolished or destroyed. When Shirley and I got home that evening and found out that our house wasn't hurt we fell on our knees and while the tears streamed down our faces, we
thanked God for sparing our kids, us, our house and our close friends.

The next day I went into the storm area to help a friend of mine get some of his furniture out of his roofless house I didn't recognize the street. All the trees and houses were gone and there was a path cleared down the street of debris so one car could get through. It had been cleared for the ambulances and police cars and fire engines.

We had a short time to get all of the usable things out of Herbies house because they burned the debris as soon as possible so that rats and mice would not get a foot hold in the debris.

While cleaning up the mess and piling it up, I found a plate that you hang on the wall, it said GOD BLESS OUR HOME. The plate was broken but still together in the wire frame.

I picked up a Bible and the only thing left was the cover the inside pages were all gone.

A young girl and her mother came up to where I was working and the girl said "look mom there is my new red dress." The dress was up in a tree caught on a broken limb and looked like a rag to me.

I found a coin purse with some change in it. I asked the girl if they lived where I was picking up the debris, and she said yes, I gave her the change purse and felt better about the situation.

There were several little league ball players killed and several people in the trailer park that the tornado leveled, I only knew one and that was the crane operator Big John, THE CRANE OPERATOR, who I had worked with at Skelly Refinery.

(Contiinued)