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‘It’s the best $500 I’ve ever spent’: Storm cellar saves family from tornado

<i>KAKE via CNN Newsource</i><br/>
KAKE via CNN Newsource

By Stephanie Maniche

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    ANTHONY, Kansas (KAKE) — While people across the nation are enjoying different gatherings honoring veterans this holiday weekend, an Anthony, Kansas family is doing a major cleanup.

After an EF2 Tornado touched down on their property last night, they came out to a missing roof on their house, a destroyed camper and significant damage to their trucks and a car.

Krissy Oliphant who spoke for the family said her sister, Kandi Eslinger, and two others took to the storm cellar about 7 p.m.

“They stayed in there, they thought there was a lot of hail, they did learn when they came out that it was a lot of debris because everything was destroyed. They found stuff even a mile away but they’re safe, all the animals are safe,” said Oliphant.

People like Robert Wendt who did not know the family could be seen along the road picking up sheet metal, boards, and wiring.

“I just saw them struggling with piles of debris and stuff and I asked them if they needed anybody and they said they could use help so,” added Wendt.

Kandi Eslinger, overwhelmed by what has happened at her home jokingly said of her storm cellar, “It’s the best $500 I’ve ever spent.”

Oliphant said family, church members and friends immediately came out to help.

A garage that used to sit in this spot fell onto the family’s camper destroying it.

Some grabbing wood pieces that were once a garage of a camper are now destroyed.

A few trucks were also hit by the tornado blowing out windows and causing dents. Oliphant said a car, also missing windows and dented, was also blown across the yard.

“It’s amazing to walk around and see stuff that didn’t move and then stuff that was completely destroyed. There’s no rhyme or reason to it,” said Oliphant as she referred to her sister’s garden still in place and untouched.

Oliphant said gardening is the one thing Eslinger loves as she walks through her yard showing how everything is still in place.

Oliphant added the family is taking this one day at a time. Oliphant plans to take Kandi and her daughter in until they get everything resolved.

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