When the Simpsons and the Tebbs got together on Sunday, they couldn’t have known the frightening evening they were going to have, or the damage they would have to contend with in the days and weeks after.
Noeleen Tebb’s family and her daughter’s family, the Simpsons, live in the same farmyard, just outside Melville. On Sunday night they were all at Tebb’s home when the sky outside began to darken.
“The alert came on the TV set, so we kind of read it, but we were watching it out the back window … we were watching it build and then, you know, we just decided when we started seeing trees fly by that it was time to go to the bathroom,” said Tebb.
They all hunkered down in the bathroom of Tebb’s home as the storm raged around them.
“All we heard really was a lot of pounding rain and, just, wind … It seemed like forever, it just seemed like we were in the bathroom forever. It just didn’t seem to end, you know, and it probably wasn’t that long.”
Once the storm passed on and it was just drizzling they all went outside.
“I was just totally sick to my stomach, it was just, everything was gone,” said Tebb. “All the trees, their house, everything was just strewn all over the countryside.”
Her daughter’s house across the yard had been destroyed by a tornado that had touched down.
Tebb said it was a pretty traumatizing situation for everyone. She explained her granddaughter is still pretty scared – that she stayed huddled up in the bathtub for a while after the storm was over.
No one was hurt in the storm, and besides a couple cats that took a tumble, Tebb said they found all the animals alright.
In the days since the storm the families have been trying to clean up the debris and search for things that got blown away – including the kids’ blankets, a necklace, and Tebb’s daughter’s wedding rings.
“I don’t know who found them but they were in the rubble.”
The two families aren’t alone in this however, Tebb praised the community and how they’ve rallied to help – cleaning, bringing out tractors, donating clothes and food, and offering to wash laundry.
A GoFundMe page set up by a friend had already surpassed $12,625 by Tuesday, well over the original $5,000 goal.
“Neighbours, people we don’t even know have been here helping. The support has just been incredible.”
Tebb’s daughter’s family stayed with them the first night, then a friend brought a trailer and Tebb said they’ll be staying in that for a little while now.
It’s a situation no one thinks they’ll have to go through, but the two families are soldiering on.
“You’re just kind of numb, you’re just going through your motions every day.”