Family shelters in basement despite lack of siren warning
Winds raged west of Aurora Sunday morning, tearing through cornfields, trampolines, pivots and even farmsteads in the area of 12th and K roads.
Upon further inspection properties owned by Aaron Oswald, Mike Oswald and Clint Mickey sustained the brunt of the damage.
“We woke up because Barbie, my wife, heard the noise (of the wind),” Mickey said. “Then we looked at the radar and we thought it’d be a good idea to get to the basement. The sound was probably what kind of tipped us off more than anything.”
Mickey continued, noting that once they heard the rumbling the family moved downstairs, where they remained for all of 15 to 20 minutes until the noise subsided.
“She (Barbie) said she thought it sounded like a jet plane or a freight train coming,” Mickey recalled. “Once we heard that we were down in the basement. And that was it.”
Despite having a quonset collapse, a grain bin fly across K Road and into the opposite ditch -- while also wrapping part way across a light pole -- Mickey insisted it was just the wind that woke them from sleep.
“We went outside right away because our kid has a 4-H bucket calf outside,” he continued. “The pen had been destroyed so we caught her and we could see what kind of stuff had been done through the lightning. We didn’t have electricity so there were no lights on. I thought there were doors across the road but it was the grain bin that had blown over there.”
The National Weather Service sent out an extended severe thunderstorm watch including Hamilton County at around the time of the storm Sunday morning. According to Hamilton County Emergency Manager Kirt Smith wind speeds were reported at 60 mph, though it was likely higher in the damaged areas.
Damage aside, Mickey had only positive things to say about the sustained safety of his family and the overwhelming support of the community after the storm.
“We live in a great community,” he said. “There was an abundance of people there to help yesterday (Sunday) and we got it cleaned up basically between yesterday and today (Monday). Calls, thoughts, prayers and a lot of help. Our family is alright, our house is unharmed, so we’re pretty fortunate.”