About The River

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anniversary of the Barron County May 16th Tornado

 Click above to read more about the 2017 Barron County Tornado.

May 16th 2017 will be one we will remember. As an F3 tornado ripped along about 2 miles from our home. Our area was hit with hail. We had hail damage to our roof and gutters. I am happy to report that today, exactly one year ago all of the repairs to our home and insurance claims have been taken care off.

Our area showed care and support for all who lost everything. We have new neighbors who lost everything. They lived in the trailer park that was severely damaged by the tornado. They now live in a lovely home across the street. At first they rented, now they have it has their home.

Of all the stories from May 16th, 2017. The one that I am in awe of is from my  sweet 93 year old that I deliver Meals on Wheels. The path of the tornado was right along my Meals on Wheels route.

I shared her story last summer, I would like to share it again, as we all face challenges each and every day. Her positive attitude makes me smile.

I was back to work the week after the touch down. As I made my deliveries I was in shock. As I drove to my sweet 92 year old, I could not believe it!  A huge pine tree fell on her house and the entire area around her was gone, ripped up, her deck was gone, trees, flowers, garden and even the shoreline down to the lake. 
I gave her a hug! I asked her "you are 92 years old, have you ever been in a tornado?"
"No, I have not! This is my first one."
Her son lives across the street from her, she told me he came over and said "Mom, a tornado is on the way. We need to get you down in the basement." She told him, " I am not going in the basement she said, I am going to the bathroom, I will never make it back up from the basement." 
She was out of power for four days. She told me, "I stayed right here! I was not about to leave my home."  The interesting thing was that after the tornado, our weather was cold and rainy for the rest of the week. With a tarp on the roof and half the house and no power, it got chilly. She said, "Oh I was fine, I went to bed early and got cozy under the blankets."
My sweet 92 year old, has just lost half of her home, all of her trees and her shoreline. She takes me to the window that over looks the lake. The tornado also touched down across the lake, and took all the trees and tore up the earth. As she looked across the lake, she looked at me and said "Carla, I never knew all those homes where across the lake, it is so pretty at night to see the lights twinkle." 
Another positive thinker in the tornado.
The area the tornado hit was full of trees, the homes were built among towering pines. What is so strange is the tornado took the pine trees, garages, out buildings but left many of the homes. I noticed today when I delivered, one of the homes that survived, they planted a vegetable garden. Something they could not do before because of all the shade. 
I hope they have a great first vegetable garden season.
This evening there will be an Anniversary of the 2017 Tornado at the Park. Each survivor will receive a cherry tree to plant. My 93 year old plans to share her story and cheer as her neighbors and community worked together as they cleaned up the damage the tornado caused.
She also told me she is excited to plant that cherry tree.


  1. What an amazing and inspiring attitude!

  2. You can just tell that God was working through this, and that lady knew it, too! Her pioneer spirit and sunny outlook are wonderful, especially at her age. What a story of triumph amid the ruins.

  3. Hard to believe this was a year ago. I hope the weather is calmer this year and that we all stay safe. Thanks for sharing this story again, positive outlooks really need to be shared!

  4. That is sweet. No wonder she's 93, with that great attitude! I'm glad all your repairs are completed.

  5. Oh my gosh, a year already? Great attitude!

  6. Very inspiring story. It is amazing what positives can come out of such a tragic event. I find it so amazing too that a tornado can wipe out a home and the home next door does not even have a leaf out of place. That is what is so scary about these in nature. I am so glad to hear your home is all repaired and most of the people in town hit the hardest have made so much progress in just a years time. So inspirational.
    Happy Thursday.

  7. I can't believe that it has been a year already. Wow. And attitude is everything in this world and that story proves it!!

  8. Very touching post, and I'm so inspired by your community's ability to rebuild and heal. The ceremony sounds so special!

  9. Attitude really does make a difference.

  10. What a story! I'm so glad you were okay and that she did okay. She sounds so sweet. I remember living in Illinois and hearing the sirens for tornado warnings. Moving to CA we have Santa Ana winds which can be very strong. It took me a few years to get use to them and now worry that a tornado was coming.

  11. A most touching and inspirational post.
    God bless.

    All the best Jan

  12. Sounds like you live in incredible community, hard to believe it’s been a year. Pretty amazing that you all have pulled together to rebuild and support one another ! We need that!


High Fives from Wisconsin!