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The Night of Stanford's Twister

By Willy, 14

It was a horrifirensic night in Stanford. I was only nine years old when it happened. My dad was in the garage working on a Mustang convertible. My brother Bobby who was fifteen years old, my step sister Stephanie who was eight years old, my step brother John who was fourteen years old and I were all playing outside. Because my dad locked us out of the house and he had locked the garage door for some odd reason.
We heard the sirens go off because there was a severe tornado warning in effect for all of Mclean county and especially around/in Stanford. My brother and I were banging on the garage door but my dad couldnít hear us. We ran up the porch to the front door trying to find a key that my dad had hidden.
It wasnít there, so we ran to the back porch to see if he had put the key, any were around there. We couldnít find the key anywhere so we ran to the alley thatís behind our house, because we knew that there is a ditch on the other side. My brother was old enough to know that if there is a tornado, and you are outside that you are supposed to get in a ditch or something that is under the ground some what, since tornadoes can only travel over a straight area and not a hill or slump.
We got to the ditch; I looked around to see if I could see a tornado. When I started looking around, at first I couldnít see anything because it was raining so hard. After about two or three minutes I saw something about seven blocks down from where we were sitting, it looked like a strange cloud at first, but then I knew that it was a tornado.
I told Bobby and he said for everyone to stay in the ditch and to find something to hold on to. We did as he said and I grabbed on to a pipe that was sticking up out of the ground. The tornado just kept getting closer and closer to us. All I could hear is a thunder, blender, ring, and crashing noise all rolled into one thing. It was so loud that I thought my ears were going to explode. Then, when I thought I was a goner it stopped.
I looked up and it was gone, but then just when we all thought it was safe the tornado came crashing down behind us, we looked back and it had gone a few blocks behind us and split into two tornadoes. As quick as it reappeared they disappeared and everything got bright, the sun came out, it stopped raining, and our house, garage or any of are stuff was damaged. The tornado lasted four and a half-hours.
My dad never even knew what happened until we told him the next morning. He never locked us out of the house again after that night. To this day when I am at my dad's house and the sky gets dark he makes everyone go in the house just in case.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? I hope not.

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Last revised: 27 May 2001