Davises escape Missouri tornado

QCSun staff

Two former Tucumcari residents can breath a sigh of relief after a tornado tore through their house in Joplin, Mo. Sunday.

Connie Davis said she and her husband Vern were barely missed by the tornado. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the tornado claimed at least 117 lives.

“It’s a war zone,” Davis said of her neighborhood Tuesday afternoon. “We’re out here taking care of the side of our house. We were huddled in our closets. We had quilts around us and pillows on our heads and my husband was saying ‘God keep your protective arms around us,’ and he did. Our house didn’t blow away. We’re real lucky.”

Davis said she and her husband lived in Tucumcari for 12 years while Vern worked with Consolidated Freightlines. The company moved the couple to Joplin in 1997. Connie said she still has many relatives living in Quay County.

“People are coming by and they’re giving us water. They come by with little packages of food for us because we don’t have any power or anything — may not have power for two weeks. We’ve got an RV and we’re going to pull it out to an RV camp … we’ll be OK then,” Davis said.

“We had about a 30-minute warning. There had been two sirens go off and they kept saying that it was coming and they just wasn’t sure how strong it was. So then we got in our closet and covered ourselves up with our quilts and our pillows and started praying, and thank heavens it missed us. I guess you’ve been seeing it on the TV. Diane Sawyer is here and a lot of the newscasters. They’ve all got big trucks down here at the end of the street. Everybody is here.

Davis said she and her husband plan to stay in Joplin “unless Grandson can talk us into moving to Tucumcari.”

“We’ll probably move in our RV while they’re redoing all of this. Our neighbors are just moving out. They’ve got a big U-Haul truck and their (house) just crushed clear in, so they’re moving out. We were lucky. Ours is just in from the side.”