Friends, family come to aid in wake of tornado

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Connie and Andy Jackson are sitting on their deck talking. The conversation is cordial with laughter.

The decks are about the only things left of their Logan mobile home. Their home’s roof is about 110 feet away in a nearby yard.

On Monday morning, the Jacksons are one of the first families in Logan to be talking with their insurance adjustor.

And on their fence is the sign thanking all who have helped them get through Logan’s first tornado in about 40 years.

Andy Jackson was standing on the deck of his mobile home on Fourth Street at the 540 Loop when the tornado took its turn on his house. He wasn’t affected that much, but it started tearing his trailer apart and part of it collapsed on Connie Jackson.

“I shouted several times for her and she finally answered me,” he said.

Connie Jackson suffered several bruises on one side when part of the home fell on her.

Since the tornado, there are stories being exchanged throughout the town of Logan at chance meetings in the Post Office — which sustained a broken glass door — at the local restaurant, the Annex, and on street corners.

Further down Fourth Street and on Garcia Street, Mike Gallegos’ head and torso are poking through the top of the house.

“I hope you brought a hammer,” he shouts. He’s grinning, too.

Despite the ravages of Friday’s tornado, Cora Gallegos’ family is taking the missing roof in stride.

Relatives from Tucumcari like her uncle, Mike Gallegos, and her children have to come to her aid.

Gallegos and her daughter in law, Felice Cepeda, were in their house when they heard the storm that spawned the tornado. Cepeda went to open the front door. When she did, she recalled telling Gallegos, “Mom, there’s a boat flying by.”
It was a mall fishing boat wobbling about three to four feet above the ground, Cepeda said.

About that time they heard limbs on the tree in the front yard cracking and Cepeda said Gallegos shouted at her to close the door. Then, they both started running towards the bathroom.

“That’s when we saw there was no roof (over the bathroom),” Gallegos said. “Then we ran the other way.”

At the Sunshine Trailer Park on Fourth Street, one of the hardest hit areas in Logan, the stories are similar.

“I was standing in the kitchen. The first thing I saw was a wall of mud,” said Lori Chase. “And I dropped to the floor and got my three dogs.”

Chase said she hasn’t seen her Beagle mix, who is recognizable by his one blue eye and one brown eye.

Debris left by the storm is piled high up against one side of her trailer, windows in her car are smashed or missing.

As she talks to Sunshine Park’s manager, Patsy Dilbeck, Chase adjusts the American flag that’s hanging on her trailer. “It was the only thing I could think to do after the storm,” she said.
Several blocks down Fourth Street, the Kuhlman family has its own story.

“I don’t see how we made it. I can’t believe we’re alive,” said Brinda Kuhlman.

Kuhman said when they heard the noise she, her daughter, Kacey, 14 and husband, Ronald, headed for the center of their mobile home.

They saw their roof rising and blown away.

“I just put arms around my daughter and wife and held on here,” said Ronald Kuhlman, pointing to a two-by-four.

Brinda Kuhlman said she is thankful they have full insurance coverage and, “With the help of family and friends, we’ll get through this.”