Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tornado Disaster

On April 16, 2011 tornadoes struck North Carolina.

My sister's house was hit. Mine, untouched. It's about a 5 minute drive to her house.

She called me that afternoon and asked if I thought she should leave her trailer, I told her I didn't know. If it is was just me I would have probably stayed. Tina (her sister-in-law) called her and told her she should probably get out. NOW.

So Kim rode to our house. Her husband had JUST left as well.

When she got to our house Brandon saw a tornado outside our window and so we all jumped in my Suburban and tried to drive away from it. We didn't know it was actually far away. We had NO idea where it was, how fast it was going and which way it was going. We just saw it and got the heck away.

As soon as we left and started driving off Kim prayed, "God please be with us and our houses."

She called her husband panicking and he turned around and went back home.

We went to a gas station and parked, it was actually sunny and seemed safe.

Brandon, her husband called while we were at the store and said, "Our house is gone, please come home baby." Repeating his self over and over. We didn't know what to believe. I think we were in a state of shock.

We were all scared to death and had no I idea whether it was a good idea to drive back to her house or not so we made some calls to see where the tornado was but we still weren't sure because there was many tornadoes being reported. They were everywhere and we were scared to go back. We were all together, all alive and we wanted to stay that way! My poor sister was speechless, I was too. We honestly didn't know what to expect.

We drove back to my house when we got the call that our house was fine. I was honestly expecting our house to be demolished from what we saw just before we left. We got Kim's car and started to drive toward her house.

The roads were blocked everywhere. It was a mess. I was nauseated.

Trees down, farms destroyed, houses demolished, power lines down, animals killed and debris everywhere. It was the most awful thing I had ever seen.

We managed to finally get her to her house going a way I had never gone and honestly didn't know we were there when we got there. There was NOTHING there but their deck. Two of their vehicles were there and all the windows busted out of them and they were trashed.

There was nothing. Everything was tore all to pieces. I can't imagine how strong that tornado had to have been to move and break such things. It's amazing and awful.

So far 24 deaths have been confirmed in North Carolina.

$24 million estimated damage in Johnston County.Thousands of homes were without electricity and we were without from Saturday til about 3 or 4pm on Monday.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh said approximately 25 tornadoes, five of which packed winds in excess of 135 miles per hour, impacted at least 32 counties spread over the state.

It's the worst thing I've ever witnessed. It was scary and now it's just awful to see.

My sister was able to save some of her clothes. Honestly, though everything is destroyed. There isn't even any evidence of a dresser, her kitchen table and things like that.

My heart breaks for her, and I'm so glad she got her butt out of there because there is NO way she would have survived through that!

Another sad thing, they only had their trailer maybe a couple of months. They had worked so hard on getting it perfect after they got married in August and had literally just had it finished.

Here are pics from the awful tornadoes. Many places only a few miles right down the road from me!

Oh and my Nikon battery wasn't charged up so I had to use my iPhone, so I didn't get great pics. And honestly, I was trying to be discreet about taking them, because I didn't really see anyone else taking pictures!
Where Kim and Brandon's trailer once sat.

The ditch the majority of the debris went into and didn't come out.
One BIG mess
Another pic of the ditch beside her house
It's weird how their driveway was still so perfect yet everything else destroyed.
Brandon's vehicles
Their deck, Brandon JUST finished building!
It was about the only thing left
Most awful thing I have ever seen
Clean-up. Day 2
What was left of their trailer, in the field next to where it was actually set up
The mess that came out of the ditch
The trailer
Another view of the field. There was stuff so far.
Power lines down in Four Oaks
I believe this is on 50 in Benson
Trees in Four Oaks
How the trees look after the tornado comes through. Crazy ain't it? I've never seen anything like it!
House in Four Oaks
Trees and power lines down everywhere. Four Oaks, NC
Again in Four Oaks
701, there are blue tarps on many roofs!
Huge trees uprooted!
I found more photos from my area, all within 10-15 miles from me on WRAL website.

This is VERY close to Kim's house. It had to be on it's way there :(
Strickland's Crossroads Road, maybe 5 miles from my house
Norris Farm, Strickland's Crossroads Road. About 5 miles from our house
HWY 242
Benson, NC
Norris Farm
It's AMAZING that it can lift trees this HUGE!
Here are a few more, some close some just because I found them interesting!

Coming out of Johnston County
My Sister's house!
Trailer upside down on 50, close to Kim's
Lowe's in Sanford
Parking lot in Sanford, NC
Tree struck by lightening
Lowe's was demolished! And no one died, that I'm aware of!
Benson/Dunn area. Close to Kim's
Norris Farm, Four Oaks
Four Oaks
Four Oaks, very close to my house!
Norris Farm
Norris Farm (1.5 million in damage)
 April 16, 2011. I will never forget it.


  1. :( Made me cry. I'm just so glad you guys are all alright and thankful your sister and her husband left their house because you're right, there would have been no way to have survived their trailer being smashed to smitherings. So horrible.

  2. I'm so sorry this happened, but I'm glad that you and your family are all ok.

  3. Thanks girls :) It's a mess around here but everyone is doing such an awesome job helping out. I'm hoping to get my Nikon out and get some better pics soon! Tomorrow is mine and Hubby's 3 year anniversary, happy post soon! :)

  4. I imagine its going to take an incredibly long time to get things cleaned up and back to "normal"

  5. Yeah it's still looking pretty bad in some areas. I'd love to get out and take some pictures but I don't know how people are about strangers taking pictures of their houses! It's so fascinating to me though, I've never seen anything like it!