At around 11pm on May 27th last, an EF-4 tornado packing winds of 270km/h tore through the neighbourhood, destroying homes and lifting the house clear off its foundations, dropping it about 10m to the left, where two trees blocked it from being carried away entirely. “There was a mother and two kids in there, in the basement,” says a neighbour. “When the tornado hit, she said her kids were lifted into the air and floated for a few seconds.”
All around are scenes of devastation. Huge trees now resemble giant toothpicks. In numerous pockets of the area, homes and businesses have been wiped out, with insured property damage costs for the city estimated at $550 million (€488 million). Hundreds of homes have been destroyed beyond repair. Remarkably, just one fatality, 100km north in the town of Celina, has been attributed to the tornado outbreak.