Tuesday, May 10, 2022

We Survived a Tornado

What a crazy year, and now you can add being hit by a tornado to the list of things that has happened to us.  In Spokane, since 1950, there are only 13 confirmed tornados, but we had 2 in one day and now that number is 15. One of them touched down at our house, took out our fence, moved to my neighbor's, uprooted 2 of his big pine trees, and then continued down the road and back into the sky.

While it was happening, I was looking out the back window at the barn, watching the horses, and not the front window, where the tornado ripped through. Our young lab, Lucy, had begun to absolutely freak out (something she has never done in previous storms) and I couldn't contain her. I was also on the phone with my mom while this was happening, and I told her it sounded like a nuclear bomb had gone off. It looked like it, too. It had become very dark and otherworldly. But there wasn't much wind in the back of the house. In fact, we have a tent up on our deck and pillows on the outdoor furniture, and it all stayed in place. 

But in the front of the house, a different scene was playing out, and our neighbor witnessed the whole thing. I texted him when the storm settled to see if they were okay, and he said he saw the tornado come through the fences and over to his place and uproot the trees then move on. The national weather service came by and interviewed him, compared it to their radar and witness videos, and confirmed it was, indeed, a tornado.

Another neighbor got a few photos after it passed by.

Here's a link to the video, if you'd like to see what it looked like from far away. It's as if a hand is placing a tornado right onto our property.

The sky was eery that night, and the nights afterward.

We lost power because the trees took out the power lines. I walked down the road to survey the damage.

Looking back toward our house.

My husband went out the next day and was able to use the tractor to fix the fence.

It has been a weird year. That company I told you about, Lifeline Screening, hasn't refunded me for the tests that I paid for, but which they were unable to get results because of the botched blood test. I told them what happened with the tech, and they said they filed a report, but no one has followed up. My next step is to report them to the BBB. I don't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else. Oh, and I followed up with a liver panel from a hospital lab and my liver results were perfect. (They had erroneously reported elevated enzymes).

Tumbleweed is still with the trainer, and doing well. My trainer played a little guessing game. Can you guess which horse is Tumbleweed?

Epona started to grow too fast, and seemed like she might be developing epiphysitis. I stripped her diet down to grass and no supplements. She is on pasture part of the day, too. She didn't show any signs of lameness, but looked a little swollen at the knees. It's common in thoroughbreds, and is often the result of too much high energy feed. She's definitely in another growth spurt, so I'm hoping this will slow her down.

She has developed a strong bond with Cowboy because they're turned out together most days and he has become the designated babysitter. Here he is last night. I had kept him in during the day and let him out in the evening. He went right over to Epona's turnout to call her over.

More Cowboy and Epona.


  1. How scary!! You just never know...I am very glad you & yours survived the tornado, and that it was not much worse. Fences can be replaced, but people and animals you love cannot. Were your horses hunkered down somewhere? I watched the tornado video. I wonder if the guy making the video knows that tornadoes can change direction.

    As for guessing which photo is Tumbleweed, I will go with the left. I really have no idea, without looking at past photos of his ears. I chose it because I remember his twin skipped a year of training and the horse on the left looks more relaxed. I have a 50/50 chance of being right lol. Have you started riding him at trainers?

    I briefly googled epiphysitis, never heard of it. I assume it is a temp condition they outgrow. Sounds like you caught it early. Epona sure is keeping you on your toes.

    1. The horses huddled during the storm, preferring to be outside, rather than under a shelter. Three of them were in the barn at the time. They handled it really well, another reason I wasn’t alerted to the tornado. Ha! Yes, they can change direction. Very unpredictable.

      So, Tumbleweed is on the right, and he is nervous, as you point out. He sees the puddle ahead, and he’s worried about it. Honestly, I don’t know how to tell them apart! 😂 No, I haven’t ridden him yet. I need to get down there and do that soon.

      Epiphysitis can have various causes, I assume in this case it was too much high energy feed as the weather was warming up, and it went beyond her body’s needs, especially since she’s grazing. Since she wasn’t lame, I just removed the extra energy, and now I’ll wait and watch. Her knees already look better, so hoping she outgrows it. She definitely keeps me on my toes.

    2. I knew I was wrong when I came back and saw Shirleys comment. Tweed is a Beamer baby, and his ears are cuter than the horse on the left :))

  2. Holy moly that must have been scary! We had a really windy day the other day but nothing like that. Glad your only damage was a fence.
    The one on the right is Tumbleweed :o)
    Epona is really starting to fill out! What a pretty girl.

    1. Wow! You’re good. Yes, he’s on the right. I’m glad the really bad weather missed you. It was so crazy. I would never have guessed we were susceptible to tornadoes here.

    2. It was easy to guess, he has the same view as his mama.

  3. Tornados are very frightening. I am so glad that the damage was limited. I am going with the right one being Tweed.

  4. Holy Crap! That's crazy! Glad you and the family and animals are all ok.
    Before I read the comments I picked the horse on the right. I don't know why I picked him but there ya go.
    Hope Epona is ok. I actually never heard of that either. She's getting big and beautiful as always.

    1. Good job! Good eye!

      Yes, all the animals are doing great. We got lucky on where that tornado hit, that’s for sure. Epona seems to be doing very well. Her knees don’t have the hourglass shape that you see with bad cases, but they did look a little swollen and are doing better now, besides a little knot above the right front knee. She isn’t happy to be off grain. Poor baby.


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