Tina Abendroth was fighting back tears, knowing how close she had come to losing a family member in Sunday’s tornado.
As Ina Abendroth’s family members provided information to Fayette County Emergency Management Coordinator Kendra Craig, Tina Abendroth talked about her mother-in-law’s harrowing experience.
Ina Abendroth was sitting in a recliner in her home, which is slightly north of Cumberland Trail Growers, when she realized that a tornado might be headed her way.
“She went to her bedroom, laid down and put a pillow over her head,” Tina said.
The EF2 twister destroyed Ina Abendroth’s home and moved it off of its block foundation, and destroyed an outbuilding as well. A large tree was uprooted, and a trailer was tossed about 100 yards north.
Her bedroom is on the west side of the house, the side facing the approaching tornado.
After the storm, her family realized how lucky she had been.
“Look, all of the windows on this side are broken except that one,” Tina Abendroth said. “That is her bedroom window.”
Also, she noted, a 2-by-4 was thrown through the bedroom walls over Ina’s head.
“This home has meant so much to her,” Tina said. “She’s lived here for 55 years; it’s where they raised five sons.”
But, a tearful Tina Abendroth was thankful that her mother-in-law was spared.
“The good Lord took care of her,” Tina said.
The twister hit the Abendroth property right after striking the property of Rusty and Patti Booher.
There, the twister caused major damage to the home, lifting it off of its foundation and turning it.
The Boohers also escaped injury, because neither was home at the time. Patti was at work, and Rusty was at a squirrel feed near Altamont.
“We sat there and watched two of them go by (Altamont),” Rusty said. “I said, ‘I hope that didn’t hit my house.
“Then, I got a telephone call – ‘You need to get home,’” he said.
“We had a terrible time getting here because of all the power lines that were down,” Booher said.
Tim Logan and Rachael Miller live across a field northeast of the Boohers and Abendroth, in a house they rent from Elmer Feezel.
They heard a tornado siren, but didn’t know if the warning was coming from Brownstown or St. Elmo.
They were standing outside the back of the home, Tim at the edge of the driveway and Rachael on the back porch.
“I was just watching the sky,” Tim said.
But one of six outbuildings on the property was blocking his view of the approaching twister. All six outbuildings were leveled.
“She (Rachael) was like, ‘Hey, it’s on the ground.’”
Rachael said, “I knew it was coming for us. I was just screaming out.”
They raced to the basement, joining Rachael’s sons Jason and Zain.
“We got to the basement just in time,” Tim said.
Actually, they had a little time to spare, evidenced by the fact that Rachael’s uncle came in behind them a short time later.
“I saw them coming down the road in Randy’s truck,” Tim said.
Randy Julius and his son, Casey, pulled into the driveway and headed for the basement.
They almost didn’t make it, he told Craig.
“I couldn’t get the back door open (because the wind was holding it shut). I got it open and the boy (Casey) got through, and it slammed shut again.
In the basement, they heard the twister above them.
“It was loud,” Tim said. “You could hear the bricks hitting the house.
“I thought it was going to come down,” he said.
Bob Heckert, who lives north of Logan and Miller, watched the storm approach with his wife, Marcia.
“It didn’t look like a funnel cloud,” Heckert said. “It looked more like a whirlwind.”
The Heckerts saw the twister hit one of the outbuildings.
“It lifted the roof up maybe 800, 1,000 feet,” he said. “It was suspended for a while, there was a little bit of a turn, then it blew into a million pieces.”