It sounded like a freight train

It was late in the afternoon on July 19. It was a hot and humid day. I decided to head to the library after work, this was my normal routine. I let my parents know so they could pick me up after work. I was on the city bus just pulling up to get off. I noticed it was completely clear outside. I was calm.

I went about my business in the library until 3:15 p.m. when I heard my phone go off, it was for a tornado warning for Marshall County. I thought to myself, there never is a tornado here. I knew we had a chance of thunderstorms, but I never thought about tornados.

I went on with what I was doing. Little did I know that about 4:15 p.m. I would have three librarians pounding trying to get my attention. I took my earbuds out of my ears, looked outside and right away I knew that what had been just a nightmare two weeks ago had come true.

I quickly listened to their directions and grabbed my stuff. I headed to their shelter in the bathroom. I heard what sounded like a freight train going by us. Everyone started freaking out. A young man was screaming on the phone, some kids were scared. The young man started to get very angry. I calmly put my earbuds in and saw an officer take the young man. Then I started to get scared.

I had heard someone say that the tornado was on Main Street. One of my parents works on Main Street. All I could think about was their building being demolished by the tornado. I was wanting to get to them. I kept asking for what seemed like forever “can I get to my parent, they are on Main Street.” The staff said no each time, but understood I was scared.

All of this happened in an hour and it was now 5:20 p.m. Twenty minutes later at 5:40 p.m. they let us go from the library. I basically ran out an started frantically searching for my parent.

The devastation was clear. We had suffered a direct hit. I got stopped due to a gas leak . I crossed the street and kept going. I found my parent and their car. The car was surrounded by trees. I then hugged them and reunited.

Everyone stay #Marshalltown Strong!