Weather News

Apr 27, 2012 8:59 PM by David Ortiviz

Family caught in path of relentless tornado

It was around 2:30 in the morning. Josh Brown and his family were sound asleep. "I heard a loud crunch and woke up just in time to see the roof come off the house," said Brown.

A rare nighttime tornado roared through the town of Chivington, about 40 miles from Lamar, in Eastern Colorado.

Brown says the noise was unmistakable. "(Sounded) like a freight train," he said.

Brown woke up his wife Theresa and they went to get their two girls, ages 1 and 3. Around that same time, screams were coming from their living room. Lindsey Snider, a friend who had been staying with the family, was trapped under a collapsed wall.

"I just heard this loud creaking and all of (the wall) just fell on me," said Snider. "I'm pretty sure I passed out and when I woke up I tried to push myself up, got a couple of inches and started screaming," she added.

The Browns rushed to rescue their friend. Josh was barefoot and his feet were cut by shards of broken glass, nails and debris. Fotunately, they were able to lift the wall and free Snider.

All five of them went into the bathroom, thought to be the safest place inside their mobile home. The little ones huddled inside the tub, while Josh stood blocking the doorway. Then he says, the twister struck again. "It was pretty scary," said Brown. "I was worried about my little girls. I've never heard my girls scream like that before. Scary," he said.

Snider says she was also terrified. "You just hear it all getting sucked out of the house, blowing everywhere. It was nuts," said Snider.

By daybreak, the family got a clearer view of the destruction. The roof of their home was missing. Some of the walls caved in. Most of their belongings were destroyed.

Nearby, along Highway 96, power lines were flattened; windows were busted at the local church; and a semi trailer was tossed over on its side like a tinker toy. Luckily the driver got out safely.

Soon, more than a dozen friends and neighbors from across the region stopped to help the Browns salvage their belongings and clean up the mess. Mother Nature showed no mercy. Light rain showers turned into a down pour. Soaking wet, they all kept working to save what they could.

"Now we have to start over and try to rebuild," said Brown. "But at least we're still here and we have something to try and rebuild."


  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail


»Topics in this article

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4