Tornado damages family home, community facility, but restores ‘faith’

Tornado damage in Pawnee Rock, Kansas. Courtesy KSN.

PAWNEE ROCK, Kan. (KSNW) – Praise Ranch Ministry in Pawnee Rock saw a lot of damage as a result of the tornado that touched ground on Tuesday night.

Ted Detello, his family and friends were celebrating his youngest daughter’s third birthday when the tornado hit. They were able to quickly take shelter in a cement room in the building, but when they came out, they said they almost didn’t recognize the ranch.

Praise Ranch Ministry is a complex in Pawnee Rock that used to be a school. Now the facility takes in abused children and also home to the Detello family.

The 50,000 square foot building where kids and families used to play is now a hazard. As you walk through the rooms and hallways, a mangled array of broken windows, knocked over furniture, shards of glass and debris from where the roof was ripped off by the twister is all that is left.

“We got to the door, everybody filed in and one of the gentlemen had slipped and fallen so I went back to get him,” said Ted Detello. “Made sure all the girls and families were safe and we just hunkered down and waited.”

Detello lives in the church with his wife and six kids.

“You couldn’t see or hear — it busted glass lights went out — total darkness,” recalled Detello.

Detello said he and his family had never seen something destroy so much in so little time. When he woke up this morning, volunteers asked how they could help. Detello said his faith was one of the few things the tornado didn’t take.

“I’m trying not to get emotional but it’s just a faith booster,” noted Detello. “When you think your faith is way up here it can always go a little higher, it can always rise a little higher.”


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