My Tornado Story & Pictures

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I live in Iowa and Tornado’s are one of those things that I have never experienced but have always heard stories about. I always thought it would never effect me, it was always someone else’s problem never mine. That was until last week when a Tornado hit near my area and the straight line winds caused a bunch of damage in my yard and home.

Thankfully all of the damage was caused to things not people.


My daughter and I were baking cookies in the kitchen when we heard the tornado sirens go off. My husband was working out west and warned us earlier of a tornado headed our way. We grabbed the dog and headed down to our basement and as we arrived we heard a loud bang quickly followed by glass shattering. I prepared my daughter for the worst by letting her know to stay down and let me shield her from any flying debris. I knew there was fine line between freaking her out and preparing her to deal with a life threatening situation. I wanted to prepare her but I didn’t want to make her panic.I just let her know everything was going to be alright and everyone was safe. She asked about the crashing sound and I explained things can be replaced but people can’t so we need to focus on staying safe until the storm passes. After some survival tips and a few jokes to keep her calm, I looked out the basement window and it seemed like the storm has passed.  I went up the stairs to see what that crashing sound was and this is what I found.


The view from my kitchen window was always a peaceful scene displaying my potted plants and my garden in the distance, not anymore. I thought the entire Oak tree in my front yard was now laying on my house. It turned out that the biggest branch I had ever seen in my life is what fell on my house but the main trunk of the tree was still intact.


That is one big branch, isn’t it? It fell onto my patio, went through my kitchen window, destroyed my roof and overhang, tore my fence down, and managed to fall on my neighbors roof too! During all of that destruction it also ripped my power line right out of the pole and left us without power for 3 days. Thankfully the weather was pretty good to us and it didn’t get higher then 75 during that time.


I am happy everyone was alright and that the only damage was to my property not my family but I am still going to ramble about my property being destroyed!

Here I go…

It destroyed my patio, my patio set, my window, roof , kitchen floor, my fence, all of my garden pots with many months of hard work, my neighbor’s property, my grass, there are giant holes in my yard from where the tree landed, a bunch of my bird houses, and bird feeders.

I have insurance to cover all of this except my garden. Apparently they don’t cover plants, only the pots that they were in. Even if they did pay me back for the plants it wouldn’t matter because my real gripe is with how long it took me to grow them and now I have to wait another year to see if my grow box will really produce 60 lbs of tomatoes. I know that may seem stupid to some people but ask any gardener if halfway through their season how they would feel if all of their plants were destroyed and I bet they would get mad at you just for asking that question.

DSC09541Now that the power is back on and the tree has been removed we are in the process of getting repairs done on our house. I will be happy when I have a window again instead of a tarp blocking my view of where my garden and bird feeders use to be. I will also rest easy when the fence gets put back up because my dog isn’t so friendly and my neighbor’s value their fingers and toes.

As we come across fun things in the repairing process I would love to share it with you. So keep checking back for updates because there is a lot of work to be done. 

How have the recent storms effected you in your area? Do you have an emergency kit for times like these? If so, what’s in it?


  1. Rosie says

    We don’t have too many tornados where I am, but when I was little there was one fairly close. It was scary. A couple of days later we drove through the area and there was wreckage everywhere. I’m glad you did not get hurt, that was a huge tree.

  2. Bessamy says

    It is amazing what nature can do. So glad it was only things that got messed up and no one was hurt. Storms and wind are are crazy at causing damage. It is really unbelievable what damage wind can do. I once saw two 200 year old oaks twisted like toothpicks by a microburst. It happened 300 yards from the building we and everyone at camp were dining in. So much damage yet no one was hurt.

    • says

      Wow that must have been amazing, watching the trees get twisted by the wind right before your eyes. I bet that was scary being so close! I am glad nobody was hurt!

  3. says

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sooo happy nobody got hurt! Very very thankful about that. It just has been very stressful and I decided to go on a rant for a minute. Thanks for listening/reading!
    @Doris I am very sorry to hear about the storms cutting people’s lives short that must have been devastating! I was very lucky!
    @Laura, I looked at my plants all of the time too. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who did that.
    My grandmother always said that is the best kind of work and you should be proud of it! Good luck with your garden, I hope you get a prize winning harvest!

  4. Doris Calvert says

    Even though you have a lot of work ahead, better your tomato plants than a family member, I have been in one where peoples lives were cut short all around me, our plants, roof, garden, flowers and some things smashed to bit but I was thankful. I am so glad you are safe but you do have a huge job ahead of you and it can be devastating as well, it’s amazing what mother nature can do!

  5. Laura J says

    Oh how scary! We are just above you in Minnesota..and get the tornados around too. We have been very lucky to not have damage like you from high winds yet..and no tornado. About 10 years ago high winds/tornado went thru where I live now…and took out a bunch of trees in this area…but I was not here for that one. I cannot even imagine going thru all of that! So glad your family is all okay….I understand your garden thing…we just started our first mini garden this year…and have so much fun looking at them about 10 times a day. I would miss them too!

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