AFTER THE STORM: Storm damages several homes in Ravenhurst subdivision, residents talk about experiences riding out storm

Rick Rogers

Rick Douglas was enjoying a movie at home when he looked outside the window and saw a trampoline in the yard lift off the ground and take flight.

That’s when Douglas, who lives at 445 Ravenwood Circle in the Ravenhurst subdivision in Neosho, knew something was wrong.

This was no movie.

Douglas ran down the hallway and jumped in the bathtub and his house started to shake and fall apart.

When he emerged after the storm, Douglas found his entire home nearly destroyed.

Almost the entire roof is either gone or collapsed. The front wall of the home has a large portion missing, exposing a child’s bedroom. Insulation covered the front yard and several trees, making it seem as if snow had fallen during the storm.

This was no winter storm, but an unconfirmed tornado or microburst that hit the Neosho area at approximately 2 p.m. Monday.

Several homes in the Ravenhurst subdivision were damaged in the storm’s wake, but none worse than a block of four homes: 445 Ravenwood Circle, 397 Ravenwood Circle, 401 Ravenwood Circle and 447 Ravenwood Circle.

“The trampoline just went straight up in the air,” Rick Douglas said, still shaking from the experience. “The wind and the noise were ungodly. It sounded like a train going. It was just loud. As soon as I started running down the hallway, I heard the glass breaking behind me. I was in the living room. I headed straight for the bathroom. It was the only room in the house I thought I would be safe. By the time I looked up, the house was gone already. It was just that fast.”

After the storm hit, Douglas, who suffered no injuries, called the staff at George Washington Carver Elementary School to see if it had been hit by the storm. The school was OK, and the staff did not even know there was a major storm that just hit the town.

The couple has a 6-year-old who attends school there.

“That is what scared me most, thinking something could happen there,” said Rick, who fought back tears as his wife came up to him and he gave her a hug. “After that, I tried to call my wife to let her know I wanted her to come home, except there was no home left.

“It is a total loss. There is structural damage. The entire roof is all collapsed in, and the walls. It’s a mess.”

Rick and Tina were planning to stay with relatives overnight. They managed to get into their home to retrieve some items like clothes and any sentimental items.

“You never expect it to happen to you,” said Rick, who is a native of Granby. “You expect to hear sirens, or something. There was nothing. Nothing. Just boom, and things were gone.”

Next door, David Watson was also home when the storm hit. He was in a bedroom working on the computer.

“I was not even paying attention,” said David, who lives at 447 Ravenwood Circle. “It was raining, and I heard a little bit of hail. Then, I heard this rumbling. It sounded like thunder was rolling in. Then, boom, our back window blew out in our bedroom. I looked outside and I just saw the devastation. The storm went boom, and this is what it left.”

The backyard of the Watson’s home was a mess. Their outbuilding shifted, and their back porch suffered massive damage along with their privacy fence. The house was damaged as well, but it is not a total loss.

“I could feel the floor going back and forth, shaking,” said Watson, who was OK except for being shaken up a little. “It seems like forever, and then it seemed like one second.”

At 397 Ravenwood Circle, Lawrence and Christine Evans were busy packing suitcases full of clothing for their family. The garage of the home was destroyed by the storm, and the sound of dripping water could be heard inside. Two-by-fours were sticking out in the ceiling of the home, and the front door was missing.

Lawrence was also at home at the time of the storm, getting ready to take a shower when it hit.

“I turned on the shower, and I heard a loud noise,” he said. “I grabbed the dog, and tried to dive under the bed. I heard glass breaking, and I came out in the living room and saw the mess. I thought I better grab a tarp and check the roof, and when I went out to the garage there was not a garage left. I came outside, and my truck was rolled over.

“The best thing is no one is injured. Everybody is fine.”

The couple recently moved to Neosho from Arizona.

“We have dust devils, but nothing like this,” he said.