Myself and my roommates got hit with an E4 tornado and it's basically ruined our lives. AMA!
I tried doing this on casual IAMA but the post got filtered out and i didn't receive any questions until a couple days later, so i just wanted to copy and paste it here to a bigger audience so i can finally answer some questions.
So i live in Beavercreek Ohio, and if you have been watching the news I'm sure you know that an extremely powerful tornado touched down right in my town the night of memorial day and it completely devastated my townhome complex. Below is a recounting of my experience that night, i just have had the overwhelming urge to share my story and get it online because it's one of the scariest yet most unique experiences i feel like a person could possibly go through.
I'm upstairs in my townhome, sipping on a delicious beer (Figleaf Brewery Ponderous Porter for the beer people who wanna know) and i am playing a game on my computer and chatting with friends on discord. We are having a good time, and my plan was to have maybe 1 or 2 beers and get to bed by 1am so i could wake up for work the next morning. It was windy and rainy, but at this point i had literally no reason to believe i was in any danger, it seemed like a pretty run of the mill stormy night.
I get the first of the tornado warnings on my phone. It beeps like crazy and tells me "possible tornado touching down in your area, get to shelter!" I pretty much ignore this at first, and continue gaming with my friends whilst making jokes with them. "Lol, yeah guys i may need to sign off because i might get sucked away in a tornado apparently." We all laugh and joke and continue gaming as there are still no signs that a tornado is actually near me specifically.
I get a second warning on my phone. The lights are flickering at this point and i can hear the wind picking up like crazy outside, so this time i take the warning seriously and decided to get off of my computer with my friends and go downstairs since i figured i may be losing power soon. I bring our two dogs down into the living room, and im pacing nervously between the back sliding door and the front door, looking outside to see if i can notice any signs of a tornado (not that i really knew what i was looking for).
And so begins my nightmare. The lights go off, i can feel the entire townhome shaking and the sound of the wind outside was indescribable, but if i had to describe it, the best thing i could say is that it sounded violent and evil. It didn't sound like normal wind. At this point i brought the dogs into our kitchen away from the sliding glass door. Just in the knick of time too, because the door busted open immediately adter and debris started flying into my living room. I also heard my windows upstairs explode but i was too afraid to go back up to see. I start screaming at the top of my lungs for my roommates to GET DOWNSTAIRS NOW as one of them was trying to sleep and the other was in the bathroom. They run downstairs freaked out and this is when the full force of the tornado is right on top of our building. The force that we felt was unreal, we were completely at the mercy of mother nature and whatever was going to happen. We had no basement, we had no other safe place to be, whatever happened to that kitchen was our fate. It felt like an eternity as we held on to the dogs and just hoped, although it was probably only a few minutes in actuality.
The tornado was gone, we finally felt like it was safe to open the front door. What we saw when we did open the door was absolutely insane. Here are some pictures.
When we went outside, people were screaming for help. My car was destroyed as were two of my roommates cars, debris was literally everywhere. Im also of the belief that if we lived next door, we'd be dead. The entire side of the building ripped off and all the rooms were exposed. Luckily, our neighbors that used to live there moved out and that unit was vacant. My roommate and i ran around trying to help anyone we could. We had to kick a ladies door in as she was screaming for help, wood had fallen on her and both of her legs were broken, there was also a giant leak pouring water into her living room at a rapid pace. We were able to carry her out on a blanket with the help of others and get her out to the street for an ambulance to access her. I looked around and noticed a man standing on the curb with his two young children and his golden retriever and i offered for them to come inside our unit as they had lost everything and their unit was completely obliterated and at least we still had a roof on ours. We were able to secure a pet friendly hotel room that night with help from my roommates mother and we were able to stay a few nights and now are staying with my roommates grandmother.
Some pictures in the daylight and a video i took
People of reddit; if you get a tornado warning, take it seriously!!! Mother nature is a bitch. We took all the belongings we didnt want to leave behind into storage and are currently taking it day by day trying to get back to normal. Just wanted to share my story.