Tammy Stitt-Mixter : Tornado Oral History

Title

Tammy Stitt-Mixter : Tornado Oral History

Narrative

Submitted: September 17, 2005
Tammy Stitt-Mixter
Darlington, PA

I to was living in Niles at the time of the tornado. I lived on a street called Wood Glen. It is the first street to the right off of North road. Needless to say our home is no longer there. It was destroyed that day I have very strong memories of the day since I along with my four year old daughter was in the house as it was being torn apart. It was a very hot and humid day. I had come home from work just as my husband and eight year old were getting ready to go to his baseball game at Wadell Park. I chose to stay home do to the heat. I kept my daughter with me since I did not think she needed to be in the heat either. To entertain her I gave her a small bowl of cereal while I went and took a quick bath. As I was getting dressed I heard what I thought was a large piece of heavy equipment moving down our street but when the house started to shake I new what it was. I ran to get my daughter who was sitting in the middle of our living room still eating her cereal. I grabbed her and ran to a different room but I wasn't sure what to do because we did not have a basement for us to go to. For some reason at that point I reached over and pulled back the curtain just in time to see my neighbors house being pulled apart. It was sobering, I just froze for a moment. Then I knew I had to find a place for us to go. The only thing I could think of was to reach over and pull a sofa on top of us. But my little girl was very frightened and was trying to run from the loud noise coming towards us. I knew I could not let go of her and as hard as I was trying I could not pull the sofa over with one hand. The best I could do was to get her on the floor and slid the cushions from the sofa on top of us by then I didn't have any time left to think about where to hid. It just all happened. Every thing was shaking, things were smashing against the walls, hitting us, our ears were popping like they would when your on a airplane. The noise is deafening. I just stayed there holding her down. Then suddenly it was quiet, nothing was moving there was silence. Your afraid to get up for fear its not over but at the same time your afraid to stay where you are. As we got up we could see out side we had no roof. We did have some walls. As we made our way back to our living room I saw a huge tree in the middle of the room right where my little girl had been sitting. Her cereal bowl was still on the floor with the spoon still in in but all the milk and cereal was gone. We could not exit the house that way due to the tree. We turned around to get to the back door our path was clear. As we stepped out the back door I instinctively looked at my neighbors house. To my horror it was flat. As I stood there looking at this house wondering where are the three people I knew was in there. I saw some boards moving and a head popped up out of the debris. All three of them had made it to the basement in time. As the neighbors gathered out in the middle of the street. Each house had a story to tell as well as the people in them. No I will never forget that day. It has changed my life forever.

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