94-year-old Taopi woman survives tornado; childhood home destroyed
TAOPI, Minn. (KTTC) – “It’s a very hard day. I don’t get to go back to my house. It’s pretty sad. I have been there 72 years,” 94-year-old Norma Kiefer said.
Tuesday night’s EF-2 tornado left her home in pieces.
“All my children were born there. I have ten children, and they were all born there. That’s the only home they know. It’s sad it’s gone now. It’s a sad time,” she said.
Despite her loss, Kiefer kept a smile on her face.
“I never expected something like this to happen but I guess that’s life,” she said.
Kiefer said she’s grateful to be alive.
“It’s a miracle that everybody lived through this. Because if I stayed in my home, I wouldn’t be here,” she said.
Kiefer’s daughter, Mary is the town’s mayor.
“My daughter came and got me,” she said.
Kiefer said she was taking shelter in her home when the storm began.
“I had gone to the basement and I was coming back out of the basement and my window and my utility room blew out the steps and by that time Mary was coming to get me,” Kiefer said.
Kiefer and her family are thankful the community has come together to help those whose homes were damaged by the tornado.
“We’re staying here. We’re committed to our town. Everybody’s helping us to dig out and make a plan,” Mary Huntley, Kiefer’s daughter said. “The worst thing is that we probably lost 8-10 homes, 8-10 structures that probably won’t be able to be repaired.”
Mary’s home was the least damaged in the town. It’s serving as command central where people can get food, water and rest.
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