Straight Winds / Tornado

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This post was published December 22, 2013, but is backdated to the date our farm got hit with a “wind event.” ~ed


On May 20, hours after a series of tornadoes swept through Oklahoma, our farm in Central Illinois was hit with straight winds (with some possible rotation) estimated between 80-120mph. About 48′ of our large machine shed was ripped apart with pieces of sheet metal siding landing up to a mile away.


Our smaller machine shed nearly had one whole wall blown out – all the posts pulled their mounting brackets right out of the concrete foundation. Thankfully, it held together.


The 99 year-old wooden hay barn west wall was partially collapsed, but the barn remained standing.


Several trees were topped (with indication of rotating wind – straight line winds will typically uproot the whole tree), and the debris from the disintegrating shed caused some light roof damage to the house.


But, God be praised!, Beth and the boys were just fine. Beth was actually upstairs closing windows against the driving rain in the opposite end of the house when the blast hit. A 2×4 stuck itself into the side of the house, the impact of which knocked a mirror off the wall. Beth high-tailed it to the cellar at that point!

I had just driven 16 hours to my Dad’s house in Georgia and we were watching the news coverage of the OK tornados when I received the following text from Beth:


Needless to say, I repacked my things and headed back home early the next morning.

We’re so thankful that Beth and the boys were safe and that the house was spared! Following are some posts I made on various other blogs where I hang out that capture more of the story.

Given the heartbreaking reports coming out of OK, this seems relatively minor… but our farm in Central Illinois got hit by either a tornado or extremely high straight winds tonight. Family is all okay and the house is standing with apparently minimal damage (I’m at my dad’s house in GA right now, driving home first thing tomorrow), and the initial report is that the back half of our large machine shed (where I store the 8N and AC 190) is *gone*. It was still storming and already dark when I talked to my wife, so we really don’t know more than that until daylight.

I’m very thankful to The Lord for sparing my family – all the other stuff is “wood, hay and in the corn stubble across the road…”


Hi, all, and thanks again for your expressions of concern and prayers over the past couple days.

While the local paper said this was a “straight-line winds” event, the focused nature of the damage and extremely high winds needed to do something like this make me still think this was a tornado(-like) event. Data online indicates it takes 80-120mph winds to do something like this. We’ve weathered up to 70mph multiple times in the past…

Spent most of the day digging out, and got the tractors out okay. The AC hydraulics were smashed, so that will have to be repaired before I can use it. The International L-170 took a heavy blow on the roof (big dent), and the ’63 Beetle got two dents which should be repairable.

Again, this is all “stuff,” and ain’t the important thing!


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