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‘It was like an explosion,’ Family runs for their lives during rare December tornado

By Michelle Bandur

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    NEOLA, Iowa (KETV) — The Wulff’s were just sitting down to dinner Wednesday when they received not one, but two emergency alerts on their phones.

They took it seriously and as they ran for cover in the basement, they saw their roof fly away and then they couldn’t see anything

“This is where the trees decided to land,” said Steven Wulff as he showed three large trees crashed through his roof.

Steven and Cheryl Wulff recount their run-in with a rare December tornado.

“We headed this way, the roof in the kitchen, just disappeared and we were headed down the stairs,” Steven Wulff said.

“When we were going down the stairs, Steve was behind me and was like,’ Go, go, go, go, go,” Cheryl Wulff said.

They said the force of the wind pushed them forward.

“It was like a terrible death storm,” he said.

“He was sitting where the tree is. If we hadn’t gotten up when the warning came, if we hadn’t gotten up and moved,” Cheryl Wulff said. “We may not have been here.”

They don’t want to think about the what if’s. They’re just grateful they got up from their chairs when they did.

“We stayed down there until we thought everything was calm,” Cheryl Wulff said.

When they emerged from the basement, they described what they saw.

“It was like an explosion happened,” Steven Wulff said. “It was that quick, here and gone, and the sun was even out.”

The storm left such a mess, they can’t even tell what’s what.

But outside, the tornado barely touched the farm buildings in the countryside. It left just a small hole in the roof of one of the buildings.

The storm seemed to zero in on their home.

“Thirty-two years worth and just gone in a second,” he said.

But this family knows storms don’t last long.

“We’ll get through it. We always have and we always pull together. Our family always pulls together,” Cheryl Wulff said. “We’re strong. We’re resilient and we’ve got God behind us and nothing that is impossible.”

The Wulffs rent the property and are working with the landlord to rebuild and move back next summer.

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