Hi, my name is Shirley Stamps. I was in the Xenia tornado, along with my 5
month old daughter. We were at home alone since my husband worked the night
shift in Dayton.
I saw the tornado coming across the fields that were behind
our house. We lived in the small subdivision that was right beside Arrowhead
subdivision. My aunt lived 2 blocks away in the Arrowhead subdivision. When
I first saw the tornado, I didn't know what it was because it didn't look like
the regular tornadoes that I had seen on TV. It was huge and seemed to be same
size from top to bottom.
Tornado in Xenia This photo might be what Shirley
Stamps saw (Photographer Unknown)
I went into the bedroom to get a better view of it.
By this time it was much closer and I saw two small funnel clouds come out of
the large cloud and go back into it. It was so close by this time that I saw
the debris in it. I ran to the livingroom and turned a large piece to
furniture over and grabbed my daughter out of her bed where she was taking her
afternoon nap. I could see through the house to my kitchen window and it was
just white outside. The roar was awful. My little dog was going crazy and of
course my daughter was screaming. I was just praying. I could hear glass
breaking and something hit my kitchen wall. After that I could smell fresh
wood. It was over in, what I'm sure was a very short time, but seems like a
long time to me. I didn't know what was left. The wood smell was coming from
my kitchen wall, where a small rafter section from someone's house had been
driven through the wall. That was the only major damage we had. I looked out
my kitchen window and started to cry, because every house behind me was
destroyed. The only thing left was where the bathrooms were.
Later I found
out that just at the end of our short street, people were dying. It was
something that I will never forget. I now live in Murfreesboro, TN. with my
husband, (Bob) of 31 years. Our daughter, (Julianne, who is now 24) lives
just down the street with her husband Darrell and is expecting our first
grandchild in November. That is the same month she was born in. We also have
a 15 year old son. (Steven.) We have had several close calls with tornadoes
recently. We take all warnings seriously now. Before Xenia, we didn't give
much thought to tornado warnings. We are so thankful for God's safe keeping
that day. Well, this has turned out to be long, but I just had to write.
Thanks for sharing your photos and memories of that day.
Sincerely, Shirley Stamps
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