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Close call for many in Lincoln County when tornado hit

Created: 06/09/2014 6:27 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

When a series of tornadoes hit New Mexico over the weekend, one of them destroyed two houses in Lincoln County.

"You would never expect it to be in your backyard, that's for sure," said James Silva.

"It's kind of strange how it picked out two homes to totally destroy," said Mike Memmer. "I never had a clue that this would ever happen."

Uprooted trees, leveled houses, and mangled metal is what's left after a tornado touched down in a neighborhood about 20 miles northeast of Capitan.

Out of seven houses, two were destroyed.

Luckily no one was in either of those homes during the storm.

A flattened front door and a pile of belongings is all that's left of the home that belonged to Silva's grandfather.

Silva's grandfather moved out a year ago, the home has sat empty since.

Across the street, Memmer is picking up the pieces of his second home.

"It's devastating," said Memmer. "Everything I had here is gone."

Despite all the damage around it, the shed that held Memmer's motorcycle was missed.

Memmer was in Colorado when it happened.

But the Dickinson family was home, huddled in their bathroom.

"Before we knew it, it was right on us," said Rita Dickinson. "We just got into our bathroom right in the nick of time and then we felt it hit.  The pressure, there was so much pressure all around the house. You could feel it through the windows, just like everything was just going to bust at any minute it was just so, so loud."

Dickinson says the whole thing lasted about two minutes.

"And that's when we heard that loud pop," said Dickinson.  "And I thought it was taking our roof off. I thought we were really, totally done."

But the only damage was on their porch.

"I mean god totally had his hand on this house," said Dickinson.  "And our lives were spared."

An area so peaceful, hit with such force.

"There's  really nothing left to salvage, it's all gone," said Memmer.


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