I Survived a Tornado
Eleven-year-old Logan Hill tells Scholastic News about the twister that hit his home
Tornado season is here. It’s the period from April through July when tornadoes are most likely to happen in the United States. Eleven-year-old Logan Hill, from the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama, remembers last year’s tornado season all too well. During that time, a tornado—one of the most powerful forces of nature on Earth—hit his town. Logan’s community, his family, and his home would never be the same.
It was April 27, 2011. Logan was 10 at the time. At about 4 p.m., he was in his house with his mother and his baby sister, watching television. Suddenly, the power went out. Then the phone rang. It was Logan’s grandmother, calling to warn them. The television news had reported that a tornado was five minutes away. Logan’s great-grandparents, who lived next door, also heard the news and rushed over to Logan’s house. Together, they would try to stay safe during the storm.
Logan had never been in a tornado before. But he knew what to do during one. In school, his teacher had taught his class ways to stay safe.
“[She] taught me to get in the hallway and duck down or get in the bathroom or the basement,” says Logan. He and his family went to the basement. From there, they heard the storm coming.
“We heard a big, really loud rumbling. So we jumped in a closet, and all of a sudden, the walls started shaking.”
THE POWER OF NATURE
Logan says the rumbling lasted for about 30 seconds. When it was over, he and his family emerged from the closet and looked out a window. They were shocked by what they saw.
“All the trees were down, and a big house [nearby] was down,” he says.
Logan’s own house had been hit badly. “The living room and the garage were gone, and part of the kitchen and the laundry room.”
TWISTERS MEAN TROUBLE
Many other families in the U.S. had similar experiences last year. In fact, 2011 was one of the deadliest years on record for tornadoes in the U.S. Nearly 1,700 occurred. About 550 people were killed.
Not all of those storms occured during tornado season. Twisters can happen at any time—and they’re very hard to predict. But there’s no doubt about how much destruction one can cause.
AFTER THE STORM
Logan has seen that destruction up close. It was far worse than just uprooted trees and damaged houses. Logan lost some relatives—and one of his close friends—in last year’s storm.
He says that his community pulled together after the tornado. “One person is trying to make a storm shelter for everyone [who lives nearby].”
Today Logan and his family live in a new house in the same town. He says that it’s been hard for him to get used to living in a new place. But for the most part, things have settled down.
“School’s good,” says Logan. “I go to baseball practice every afternoon. Sometimes I go fishing with my grandpa, my dad, and some friends. It was kind of tough for a while, but things are OK now.”