Family Affected By Picher, Joplin Tornadoes Lose Quapaw Home


Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 6:56 pm
By: Dave Davis


Stories of survival are coming to light in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly Quapaw tornado.

Cheryl Ross' husband, Rich, laid on top of her as the tornado passed over their house, but that's not even the most incredible part of the story.

Sunday's tornado damaged the tree at the Ross' home. The best that Cheryl can tell, the wind picked it up, spun it ninety degrees and dropped it right on top of their roof.

4/29/2014 Related Story: Volunteers Pour In To Help Quapaw Tornado Victims

Thankfully the Ross' survived, and it's not their first tornado.

People in Quapaw all seem to agree that Sunday's tornado came and went very quickly.

"It's amazing anybody made it out of all this. Really it is. It just hit all the sudden, no warning or nothing, it was just there," Rich Ross said.

Cheryl said her first clue that a tornado was on top of them, was the wind.

"I heard the wind, and the minute I heard I knew," she said.

It's a familiar sound as her home was destroyed in the 2008 EF4 tornado in Picher, and few years later, her son was seriously injured in the Joplin tornado.

"You can move you, you have to," she said.

On Sunday, Cheryl thinks they survived, partly thanks to a reinforced wooden beam that her husband built.

"This beam saved our lives," Cheryl said.

Also, because her husband stopped her from going out the back door to the storm cellar by, literally, tackling her.

"So he kinda grabbed me around the legs, at the bottom part of them, I got a rug burn there. But then he laid on top of me, completely," Cheryl said.

Despite three tornados in six years, she said God has blessed her family by keeping them safe.

But in that moment, it never gets easier.

"That terror of that moment, consumes you. And after being through it once, then having our son go through it, it's just terrifying," she said.

After the Picher tornado, the family took the buyout and moved to Quapaw. But now, they don't know if they're going to rebuild or move again.