The calm before the storm

Photos by Sherry Vogel Bev Schell (right) and her daughter Amber Lawlar in front of the Schell’s fifth wheel RV.
Photos by Sherry Vogel
Bev Schell (right) and her daughter Amber Lawlar in front of the Schell’s fifth wheel RV.

   Bev Schell of Baker had just put her last pan of cookies into her oven as she quickly hurried to pick up her husband Jerry from the yard. Home again, they were just getting settled – Jerry in front of the TV and Bev heading toward the kitchen when “the oven timer on the cookies went off,” said Bev, “or so I thought”.

By Sherry Vogel

Jerry sat up and realized that it wasn’t a timer but instead a city alarm siren. Bev retrieved her cookies and was shutting the oven off when the phone rang. It was their daughter, Amber Lawlar, who lives next door to them. She was frantic as she warned them a tornado was quickly approaching their homes. Amber, her husband Mark and girls along with guests Klint Flint and Scott Rabbitt, and a few of their children were at that very moment descending down into the crawl space of their modular home through a trap door in the bathroom closet.

Many volunteers helped to clear the rubble in the ravaged area.
Many volunteers helped to clear the rubble in the ravaged area.

   “Dad are you in” … buzzz – the phone went silent. Instantaneously, Amber remembers hearing glass shattering somewhere in the house. Meanwhile, Jerry and Bev were moving toward their crawl space. Bev shared, “We were moving pretty slow.” They barely made it into their crawl space. Just as the door was pulled shut, Bev said, “the hair on my arm was just standing straight up as we felt a sucking pressure. “We could hear a roaring wind as things were flying and hitting the house.”

   Meanwhile, Mark and Amber and daughters with friends Klint and Scott and a few of their kids huddled together. The children asked them, “What does it feel like to die?” It crossed the adults’ minds whether the modular home would remain bolted to its foundation. All the while, Amber was wondering if her parents were safe. Then as suddenly as it had started, it was over. Klint bolted, with bare feet, across the neighboring yard to find the Schells. Jerry heard someone yelling, “Are you okay? Are you okay?”

   Destruction was all around as the family reunited, acutely aware that they were blessed as everyone lived to tell this story.

   The Schell’s 7,000 pound fifth wheel Gulf Stream Innsbruck RV home had been turned on its roof in the exact spot where it had been parked, while the garage it sat beside had disappeared. Ironically, with only about three feet between the two, an old wooden wagon which had been in the corner of the garage, was sitting totally undisturbed.

   Bev also showed pictures of a work bench out in the garage. Although a heavy iron vice grip which had been bolted to the table was broken, three small tools laid out side by side on the bench top remained undisturbed.

      



GAMES