ďThe rafters were lifted off Reneeís house and set back down,Ē Carolyn said. ďThey found upstairs curtains caught between the rafters and the ceiling.Ē
Renee and Philip Bryant live on Highway 169 and their home appeared on several television broadcasts.
ďWhat is really amazing is when you see the devastation first hand. What you see on television doesnít prepare you for the the total wreckage. Itís amazing that only four houses down from Reneeís a house is untouched except for a few missing shingles,Ē Carolyn said.
Ben, her nine-year-old grandson, was standing on the back porch when he saw a black cloud approaching. He yelled at the family and they only had four seconds to get into the basement before the tornado hit. The family ducked down into a corner in the basement and heard all kinds of noises upstairs. After the noise stopped, they headed outside to see the mess.
Carolyn said she talked with her son-in-law about 5 p.m. just before he headed to the college to check on a visiting Chinese professor. ďHe asked the visiting professor if he had ever seen a tornado. His reply was no. They ran down two flights of stairs with the walls buckling around them,Ē Carolyn said. ďThey survived. Philip ran to his car and it wasnít parked where he had left it. The storm had moved it and a tree landed on it. He literally ran home (about one mile) to see what had happened to his family and their home.Ē
When Carolyn saw Renee and Philipís house on television it was the first she knew they had been affected by the tornado.
The Reecks have made several trips down to St. Peter in the last week to help salvage things from the Bryant home. Lou said everything is embedded in glass and dirt.
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