For Gracie Brooks, it took away 40 years of saving and hard work. Brooks had saved up for 40 years to build her home and in a matter of seconds, a tornado severely damaged it. The family had just moved in three years from the day that the tornado hit.
The storm blew off the roof of the house and left pieces of it near a creek. Two inches of water was left inside of the home from the heavy rain that took place moments after the tornado hit. The only parts of the house that still had roofing were the kitchen and the dining room.
Brooks had a second house on the land which also received major damage. Windows were blown out of that house and pieces of the roof were missing.
The only piece of property that was not severely damaged was a barn that only had the doors blown in. All the animals inside were okay.
Brooks granddaughter, Natasha Douglas, saw the storm right before it hit. Douglas was out on the highway taking pictures as the storm cell was moving in.
Douglas told the Daily News that she made it home five minutes before the tornado struck. She saw the tornado coming straight toward the house and was able to get her mother and grandmother in to the hallway.
“It (the hallway) was the only place we had time to get to,” said Douglas.
She added that it was like a bomb had hit the roof. Although the tornado itself only lasted a couple of seconds, it is a sound that Douglas says she will never forget. Her description of the sound of the tornado before it hit was like a huge herd of cows all bellowing in fright at the same time, and like a rapid fire gun as it hit, which was probably the sound of debris from the funnel cloud hitting the house as well as the sound of the roof being ripped off as it hit.
“It’s a sound that’s hard to describe, but it’s one I’ll never forget,” she said.
Douglas is thankful for her family still being alive through the storm. “Things that mattered before, don’t really matter anymore,” said Douglas. “You can always replace material items, but you cannot replace human life.”
The family did have insurance on the main house, but the second building (that had the windows blew out) was uninsured.
“It was scary, and it was bad, but it could have been worse,” said Douglas. “We’re all safe, and the house can be repaired.”
One of Brooks and Douglas’s neighbors, Sheila Ramsey, who lives just a few minutes from their home, wasn’t quite as lucky. Her home was totally leveled by the storm.