Outside Pam and Aaron Lightle’s home on Ridgewood Drive in Hannibal, their two children were waiting for grandparents to come pick them up. As the sound of their laughter filled the air, Pam and Aaron were expressing thankfulness, despite the fact half a large tree lay on Pam’s station wagon.
“In light of what’s happened in Oklahoma, we’re blessed,” said Pam, referring to the carnage inflicted by a powerful twister Monday afternoon in Moore, Okla.
“The damage is an inconvenience, but we’ll get it cleaned up or repaired and go on,” added Aaron.
Aaron was home with the children Monday evening as the storm approached. Aaron credited the CodeRED Emergency Communications Network with alerting him via phone that a tornado warning had been issued.
He called to share the weather warning with his wife, who was at an Evening Kiwanis meeting. Pam, however, already knew that the weather would soon be taking a turn for the worse.
“We (Evening Kiwanis members) had all signed up for the (CodeRED) service, so when the warning was issued everyone’s cell phone went off,” she said.
Once Pam reached home the Lightles hustled their children to the basement.
“There was a roaring noise. We put the kids in the southwest corner and got around them,” said Pam.
After the storm had passed, the Lightles went outside to discover a number of limbs down, plus a large part of a tree on Pam’s vehicle.
“We also have some gutter damage and some power lines that have been pulled loose,” said Aaron.
But in their neighborhood, Pam and Aaron know others were hit harder. Pam nodded in the direction of another house which she said recently underwent some significant remodeling. She added the home had sustained water damage as a result of the storm.
With cell service and Internet access spotty in the neighborhood, one woman laughed and suggest they stage a block party later Tuesday.
On a nearby street, Abbie Herrin could be found outside Tuesday morning cleaning up storm damage with her two youngsters. Like the Lightles, Herrin took her family below ground when the storm hit.
“We went to the basement,” she said. “We could see the door shaking.”
On Chestnut, Bryn Dietle and Nathan Wood said it was the strongest storm they’d seen since moving to town.
“It was wild,” said Dietle.
“It was a little scary at first,” said Wood. “I walked out front and then it started whirling around, the rain and wind. It would blow straight forward, then to your right and then to your left, all the rain and everything. We walked inside and the power was off; we walked back outside and part of our front porch was ripped off.”