Monday, September 25, 2023
Home US News ‘This is just stuff’ says family that lost possessions, survived devastation

‘This is just stuff’ says family that lost possessions, survived devastation


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Surveying the damage from Friday’s tornado that swept through Andover, it’s not difficult to imagine the EF-3 storm claiming more than possessions.

Miraculously, some say, no one was killed in the tornado. Jonell Farney and her husband survived after the tornado collapsed the walls of their house, took out their covered deck and ripped off the roof over their heads.

“The house is gone,” Farney said. “(We) slammed the door shut behind us and our ears started popping. Then, the house just exploded. It just went away. I opened the door and looked and all I could see was sky. It was gone, but we were safe. That’s the only thing that matters, you know.

“This is just stuff. We’re fine.”

For many, it was the first time they’ve been up close and personal with a tornado. Many pictures and videos of the storm were shared on social media as it was happening and in its immediate aftermath.

“You see this on TV and you see the devastation, but it doesn’t hit home until you’re standing in your front yard looking at this,” Farney said. “This is hard to look at, but it’s just stuff. I count myself lucky.”

American Red Cross volunteers are going door to door assessing damage from Friday’s storm. Some in the community are offering water and snacks to help neighbors who lost almost everything.

“I’ve seen some major damage, total destruction and people displaced,” volunteer Darrell Hacker said. “It’s amazing how big this tornado actually really was. In a disaster, it’s amazing how people come as a collective to help one another out. It’s that were all one unity, and that’s what makes a community.”

While her daughters help recover anything that’s salvageable, Farney wants to focus on her blessings.

“This can all be replaced,” she said. “This is just stuff. As long as we survived this, I’m a happy camper.”

Copyright 2022 KWCH. All rights reserved.