Every year around this time the South gets hit with some beautiful and terrifying storms. Having grown up here you get as used to it as you possibly can, however, seeing that tornado warning flash across the screen still sends a chill up my spine.
When we were little our parents, in an effort to acclimate us to what would be a regular occurrence, would let us sit outside under the patio cover and watch thunderstorms roll in. I love thunderstorms, safe thunderstorms. The kind with thunder so loud your entire house shakes, but also the kind that do not spawn tornadoes. The kind that caused my brother in law from Wyoming to ask “Is that normal? I mean is it supposed to be that loud?” Our area was under a tornado watch for most of the day yesterday, even before the thunderheads started rolling in. It was humid and eery outside. We’ve all been watching the continuous news coverage of recent devastation in Joplin and prior to that Alabama and other southern states that have been hit hard this spring. We know to take a tornado watch seriously, but given recent occurrences we paid a little bit more attention yesterday. The storms rolled past us pretty quickly, thank goodness.
As my Mother has said on a few occasions where she felt in danger “I respect…” in this case, the weather. She has said this as my Husband drove us up the winding roads to Pike’s Peak and as we were driving around the windward side of Oahu where the cliffs drop off into the ocean within a few feet of your tires. Her exact quote, “I love the ocean, but I respect it” “I love nature, but I respect it” “I love this weather, but I respect it.” I always assume she hopes the weather, or whatever she’s speaking to, hears her therefore securing her safety.
This morning I read a story about a boy who had just graduated from High School and was driving home with his Father when a tornado pulled him through the glass of the sunroof and out of his Father’s grasp. Reading the story broke my heart. I know not to question God, but I just don’t understand. After reading more I found a video of the boys Aunt speaking to Shepard Smith on Fox News.
See the video here:
Even through the devastation, possible loss of her Nephew (they can’t find him) and severe injury of her Brother she says “We have a lot of faith in God and we pray a lot, we just feel really bad for the other people who have lost their lives.”
The story from NY Daily News:
A Joplin family is pleading for help in finding a new high school grad who they say was sucked out of his car by the deadly weekend twister that killed 118 people.
Will Norton was on his way home with his father after getting his diploma from Joplin High School when the tornado struck the Missouri city, his family told CBS News Tuesday.
The 18-year-old and his dad, Mark, were racing to get home as the twister barreled down on them, Will Norton’s sister Sara said on the “Early Show.”
“We left about five minutes before them,” she said. “We barely made it in the garage.”
PHOTOS: TWISTER TEARS THROUGH MISSOURI CITY
Mark called his daughter while they were on the road, and was on the phone with her when they were caught up in the twister.
“He was telling my brother, ‘Pull over, pull over,’ ” Sara said. “I heard the tornado whipping them around. I had a feeling they were flipping around in the air. It was just really scary.”
The Hummer H3 was crushed by the tornado when family members reached it, just a short distance from their house.
Will Norton had just received his diploma with the graduating class at Joplin High School when the tornado hit. (Mike Stone/Pool)
“They had to cut Mark out of it,” said Tracey Presslor, Will Norton’s aunt.
Will was nowhere to be found.
Sara said her father, who suffered several broken bones and a head injury, told them he fought to save the teen.
“He said he had his arms around Will when they started flipping, and Will’s seat belt snapped and he flew through the sunroof,” she said.
The family has been desperately struggling to find him ever since. They received news that he may have been alive at a hospital in Joplin, but that he was later moved.
“We heard that he was checked into the hospital, he was alive,” Presslor told Anderson Cooper on CNN, adding that he was later transferred and they had received no word about him since.
The family has set up a Facebook page, Help Find Will Norton, along with a phone number – (757) 751-9455 – in hopes of getting more information.
They’re not alone. Dozens of Facebook pages have been established by concerned relatives and friends seeking loved ones. There’s even a website dedicated to listing names of those missing, as well as contact information.
The tornado that tore through Joplin is being considered one of the deadliest in more than 50 years.