JUANA: Yes, obviously we are still here. It was a very cloudy day. We knew that it was going to be a stormy day, because the forecast called for 100% chance of rain. We knew it was coming. We just didn’t know that it was going to get that bad.
We didn’t have enough people to cover for us that Saturday. Tyler, our maintenance man, who is Wayne’s father, was taken to the hospital. He had a very bad infection in his leg and he is diabetic. The doctor was very concerned that it could get worse. Tyler didn’t say anything about it for two weeks and by then he could barely walk. He was taken to the emergency room and the doctor said that he couldn’t leave the hospital until the infection was under control. Wayne was at the hospital with his dad and we knew that he wouldn’t be here that Saturday. Stormy, who is another part-time worker, had baby sitter problems and she couldn’t make it. Our other part-time worker, Ms. Colleen, had another commitment for this specific weekend and we’ve known about that since she was hired. I only had Shelby, Sherri and myself scheduled to work. I hurt my knee and I could barely walk and I thought it was going to be a bad day. I want to thank Maci, who came to work on her day off and helped us. We also had two wonderful volunteers, who helped us that day and made that day so much easier. My nephew Juan Manuel, who lives with us, volunteered. So did Maci’s cousin, James. They are both wonderful 14-year-olds, who didn’t know each other at school, because they are in different grades.
Maci did the walks in Pat Arnold Park and Shelby did the walks in the Shirley Olsen Beemer Park. Sherri, James and Juan Manuel worked in all of the kennels. Sherri supervised the kennel work and we all worked together. I took care of Hospital One and Hospital Two dogs. It was a difficult day, but we didn’t know how much worse it was going to get.
It was a very muggy, humid and sticky day. It was really hot. It was in the 80s.
You can see this ball of hail. After it started hailing, the electricity went out and it was getting scary. Then I put the camera away and kept my phone with me. I went to get Mini-Junior.
David Ford was in the kennel office putting out the medicine. I didn’t want to leave David Ford alone in this weather or drive in this storm. Juan Manual was taking a shower in H1. Then alarms went off on our cellphones, “To take shelter now.” The wind picked up so much and all of the dogs were so scared. They were barking and panting. The inside dogs in H1 ran into the closet. Oreo ran into the laundry room. Allie put herself in a crate with Bug. All of the dogs were barking and scared. It was horrible! We had already given Ace pills to Soullie, Sam, Terry and Cole and we had already brought Terry inside.
BILL: Did it bother blind and deaf Colt?
JUANA: No, he didn’t like it, but he just stayed inside.
When all of the sirens and alarms went off, I was watching the clouds. They were starting to rotate. I started taking a video and the rain stopped and everything was calm. The sun was out and then the clouds that were on top of us starting rotating. Tornados were forming. At that moment, I thought a tornado was coming right at us. You have to see the video I took of those rotating clouds. I posted it on Facebook. When I finished taping that 17 second video, I really thought that it was going to hit us. I could hear the roar of the tornado and I thought it was coming right at us. I ran from the porch into the laundry room. There was no way to close the doors. I just lay on top of Oreo and covered him and I stuck my head in the crate that was holding Bug and Allie. I called to Juan Manuel to stay in the shower until I told him to come out. Then, before we knew it, it was gone. That is how fast they are. At that moment, I knew that God was watching over us. We didn’t know what had happened yet. Some of our crewmembers took pictures that night of some of the destruction. The next morning, we saw that the tornado had touched down less than a mile from our shelter. Our crew went out and helped some of our neighbors the next day. We saw two mobile homes on 1861 that were gone. There were trees and debris everywhere. The road was closed. Thankfully, none of us were hurt. That tornado was the same one that went up threw Canton. Canton is about 10 or 12 miles away from us. It did a lot of damage there and killed some people. It was awful! That was the scariest thing that I have ever lived through. I didn’t know that it was that far way.
BILL: It is amazing how fast they are.
We’ll be back again shortly with another report from Straydog.
You can listen to today’s Radio Show below.