Cross left untouched by tornado near Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – A Great Bend couple’s home was destroyed in Tuesday night’s tornado. Dan and Joyce Wapelhorst knew a storm was approaching.

“Well, we heard Dave Freeman on the TV say it was over by Pawnee Rock moving northeast, and we just didn’t think much of it,” said Dan Wapelhorst.

Joyce Wapelhorst looks at the damage from the tornado. (KSN Photo)

Dan said he went outside one last time before the storm hit.

“I went out. The garage was sitting here, and I went out on the south side of the garage. It was right out there in that field, and I went in and got my wife and my daughter and said let’s get to the cellar.”

The couple and their daughter rushed to shelter, narrowly missing the tornado.

“I couldn’t get the door shut, but finally, I got it shut, and within five seconds, it was over,” he said.

When the couple emerged, they found their two-story house destroyed.

“In a few seconds I opened the door and I said our house is gone,” Dan said. “I think it just picked us two houses out and got us.”

“Sick, just totally sick,” Joyce said. “Everything is gone. Everything is gone.”

However, not everything the Wapelhorst’s own was damaged by the tornado. An old cross that once hung in the couple’s home was unscathed. The pair also managed to find an old photo album that once belonged to a late relative.

“This is what we did find this morning from his mother when she passed away,” Joyce explained.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the family said they were still searching for their pet cat, a wallet and false teeth.

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