Monday, June 15, 2009

The Elbert Tornado - June 15, 2009

Looking Northeast from our deck.
Tornado touching ground. Looking west from Warren's farm.

My son, Kenny Gresham, cutting the 4-H steer out of the Brown's barn that was flattened. The steer wasn't injured.

The barn at the Brown's farm. This barn was built by my husband's great-great-uncle, Earl Squires. It was the Squires' farm.

The tornado did not do any damage to any properties owned now by my family or family members.

The tornado hit the Brown's barn around 1:40 on Monday June 15.
The Brown's barn was destroyed. This farm is about 3 miles northwest of my home. The tornado moved south-southwest across the road and took out the roof and loft of the Murray barn along with pine trees on the hill and cottonwoods along the creek. My son, Kenny Gresham, took the pictures of the tornado. He left home and went to his grandparents' house to help them to the basement. After the tornado passed, he went to the Brown's farm and used the chainsaw to cut out the steer that was trapped. The pictures are turned around - Kenny is standing on top of the steer when he is using the chainsaw. The second picture is when the steer was able to get up.

I was working at the library at the school and we had ten kids there for the library district's summer reading program. We received an alert about the tornado warning by telephone. I went out to look at the clouds and saw a funnel on the hill just above the school. This was a different funnel than the one in the pictures. We took the children to the hallway. As we heard more reports about the tornado, we went down into the basement. We spent about an hour in the hallway and the basement reading stories, playing Simon Says and singing songs. There was lots of tornadic activity in the area. An airplane hangar south of Elbert was hit while we were in the basement.

The National Weather Service determined the tornado was an EF2. The airplane hangar was hit by a different tornado.