WASHBURN — Tom Lasswell will not soon forget walking out the back door of his family’s century-old farmhouse moments after the EF-3 tornado that walloped Washburn last Tuesday paid a visit to the farmstead about three miles to the northeast.
He and his wife, Cathy, and daughter Ashley had weathered the storm safely by huddling on a basement stairway landing as the twister ripped off shingles and siding and shattered windows by hurling driveway rock at the house like bullets.
“It was rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat, just like a machine gun. That was all you could hear,” Lasswell recalled.
Ashley, 22, uses a wheelchair, and her parents had tried to prepare for such a day by installing a chair lift to get her to the basement shortly after the 2013 Washington tornado passed practically within hollering distance. But the lift moves slowly, and they got only halfway down before the storm hit.
“We weren’t watching the weather close enough that day,” Lasswell said. “But everybody was OK.”…………..