06-07-2004, 08:24 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Auntie Em! Auntie Em!
CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. -- With a monster tornado bearing down on her last weekend, Diane Neises sought refuge in the bathroom of her manufactured home and locked her arms around the toilet.
The water lines snapped, she felt herself being lifted up, and something hit her on the back of the head. She was knocked out and doesn't know exactly what happened next, but believes the storm carried her half a mile away, where two storm chasers found her.
Bill Kunze and Travis Scales had been out traveling back roads Saturday night, tracking the violent storms moved through parts of Kansas. They already had five tornadoes on video when they ended up in the area where Neises lives.
Around 8:30 p.m., the men were making their way slowly around downed power lines when they saw something moving, what they first thought was a staggering animal. But as they got closer they realized it was a woman, covered with blood, her clothing torn.
Kunze and Scales got a quilt around the incoherent Neises, put her in the back seat of their pickup and took her to a rescue crew. The first recollection that Neises has is being asked by an ambulance crew member whether she knew she'd been through a tornado.
The 46-year-old woman got a warning about the approaching storms in a telephone call from her mother, but with no rain even falling where she was then, she told her, "Oh, Mom, it's not doing anything."
But later she looked out the window and saw a huge funnel cloud, just half a mile away. She watched it chew up a neighbor's house, one of a dozen Sumner County homes destroyed by Saturday night's storms.
Neises, whose husband Steve was at a friend's home, thought at first of getting in her pickup and trying to outrun the storm, then decided to try to ride it out in the bathroom of the four-bedroom home. When it was all over, Neises was at a Wichita hospital, being treated for injuries that included cuts to her head and body, three broken ribs and eye injuries. Some of her hair had to be clipped, tangled impenetably with shreds of wheat and other debris picked up by the tornado.
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