Liblady's Genealogy Blog

Week 10: Disasters
March 9, 2011, 1:28 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 10: Disasters. Did you experience any natural disasters in your lifetime? Tell us about them. If not, then discuss these events that happened to parents, grandparents or others in your family.

On June 8, 1974 I was attending summer school at Emporia Kansas State College (now Emporia State University). I was typing on my final project for my degree, and I looked out the window of my third floor dorm room.  To my amazement the top of tree outside the building was bent over touching the ground.  At that moment I decide the top floor of the dorm is not where I want to be. So I head down to a safe area, to learn that a tornado is on the ground less than ½ a mile away.  The tornado dropped down so quickly, the sirens did not go off until after it touched down.

It is strange what you think about in the midst of crisis.  I thought if it takes the building, there goes my research project, all my notes, all my papers, etc.  The tornado did not strike the college but severely damaged a shopping mall, and destroyed a mobile home park, six lives were lost in this storm.

The other scary time for me, was around 1984-85, in Pratt County, Kansas.  As I was working around the home, which was a mobile home, I looked out the picture wind on the west side of the house and I saw lots and lots of debris flying through the air.  As I watched it, my thoughts went back to the Wizard of Oz, as the tornado is taking everything including “the witch” past the wind.  I quickly decided it was time to get out of there.  I grabbed my two sons, and we fought the wind to get to Grandma’s.  I don’t remember if we did go to the basement, but at least we were not in a mobile home.  After the storm pasted, we went out to inspect for damage.  The front porch had been moved, lots of tree damage.  We had just finished putting a new roof on to connect two mobile homes into one. The new roof had been peeled off.  About 1 mile away the winds had derailed a train.  The area news reported that it was only, only straight line winds, not a tornado.  Those winds were also very scary and caused a lot of damage.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (http…://


1 Comment so far
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How scary! I can’t imagine experiencing this.

You know, I wrote these personal history prompts to help others tell their stories. I had no idea how much I’d enjoy reading them myself. Thank you for participating in the series!

Comment by Amy Coffin

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