Clifty Family Recalls Hiding Under Mattress During EF1 Tornado

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CLIFTY (KFSM) – A family, whose property in Clifty was damaged by an EF1 tornado on Wednesday (March 25,) said they are grateful the damage to their home wasn’t worse.

“I feel we looked right up into the tornado, and lived to talk about it,” said Bob Willis.

Willis said he and his family were home as the tornado went through their yard.

“The sky had turned that milky green color,” Willis said. “To see that actually happening, it is almost like it is surreal.”

Willis recalled seeing the tornado pull trees from the ground.

“It pulled [a stump] up straight into the cloud, and that`s when we took off [for shelter,]” Willis said.

Willis took his family and dog into their hallway where they covered themselves with a mattress.

“It sounded like the top of the house was being taken off, that is when I got really scared,” Willis said.

According to Willis, the tornado was the loudest thing he'd ever heard, but passed his home quickly.

“After maybe 30 seconds, or a minute, it was just silence,” Willis said.

Willis said he immediately ran to a window after the tornado passed.

“We saw our neighbor’s barn being blown out across his pasture” Willis said.

The only damage to the home was on the roof, where shingles were ripped off and thrown across the street. The tornado also uprooted more than 13 large trees.

“We are very fortunate, it could have been a lot worse,” Willis said.

Now the Willis family is waiting on an insurance assessor as they clean up.

“We started making piles of limbs and brush, and picking up shingles, because some still have nails in them,” Willis said.

After the tornado, the family said they're considering purchasing a storm shelter.

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