Thankful, tornado takes house, leaves daughter

Gone.+The+Mendenhall+home+was+destroyed+during+the+tornado+on+December+1%2C+2018.+The+house+was+taken+off+its+foundation%2C+broken+in+half%2C+and+is+missing+parts+of+the+roof.+While+the+home+was+lost%2C+everyone+in+the+family+was+unharmed+and+many+possessions+were+salvaged.+
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Thankful, tornado takes house, leaves daughter

Gone. The Mendenhall home was destroyed during the tornado on December 1, 2018. The house was taken off its foundation, broken in half, and is missing parts of the roof. While the home was lost, everyone in the family was unharmed and many possessions were salvaged.

Gone. The Mendenhall home was destroyed during the tornado on December 1, 2018. The house was taken off its foundation, broken in half, and is missing parts of the roof. While the home was lost, everyone in the family was unharmed and many possessions were salvaged.

Savannah Mendenhall

Gone. The Mendenhall home was destroyed during the tornado on December 1, 2018. The house was taken off its foundation, broken in half, and is missing parts of the roof. While the home was lost, everyone in the family was unharmed and many possessions were salvaged.

Savannah Mendenhall

Savannah Mendenhall

Gone. The Mendenhall home was destroyed during the tornado on December 1, 2018. The house was taken off its foundation, broken in half, and is missing parts of the roof. While the home was lost, everyone in the family was unharmed and many possessions were salvaged.

Sydney Moore, Reporter

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Tornado, basement! Not a typical text message to receive at the beginning of December, but for Savannah Mendenhall, it was life-saving. The story begins early on December 1, 2018, when Mendenhall received a message from her friend, Amber Coon, warning her of bad weather. She later received a message from her sister, Mikayla Murray, warning her to get into the basement. Without these messages, Mendenhall may not be here today.

Mendenhall proceeded to the basement, after grabbing the family dachshund, Mayci. Soon after, the windows began to shake. The house then snapped, and the stairs moved towards her. Mendenhall trapped behind the stairs, hot dog pokers inches from her face, then saw lightening where the walls should have been.

She made a call to her mother, Pamela Mendenhall, to tell what had happened; mom immediately called emergency services. One of the only things Mendenhall could see while trapped was a cross that had been hanging on the wall–but now was positioned right above her.

“It felt unreal, like a dream kind of, but also like a nightmare,” told Mendenhall about her stair-trapped experience.

When she was pulled from the house, she found that it had been knocked off its foundation. Within the first hour, the Mendenhall family was offered several places to stay and plenty of supplies. The Blue Mound Fire Department took them to buy items that would be needed immediately.

Benjamin Parks, a friend of the family and 2018 Meridian graduate, has discovered valuable insight through the experience, “I myself have been out there already to help with the damage, just to collect and help the family through these rough times. I have personally learned a lot, that family is everything, and that truly I have a brother, Austin [Mendenhall’s 18-year-old son]. As an only child, I’d like to help out my best friend as much as I can.”

The Mendenhall family would like to thank the Blue Mound Fire Department, Levi Hedges, the Meridian faculty and administration, the Pistorius family, the Zion Chapel and Prarieview Parish family, and their neighbors and friends for helping in so many ways.

“That has made the whole situation bearable. We have so much to be thankful for,” Pamela Mendenhall said.

The family has received an abundance of supplies, along with meals and a temporary house to stay in. They expect the rebuilding process to take anywhere from six months to a year.

 

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