Tornado's of Pierce City 2003
In this webpage are a few photographs that we took the day of the tornado's that
hit Pierce City, Missouri during a quiet afternoon. We were monitoring the sky
for any sign of the weather that we were being warned about on the National
Weather Station on our scanner. Standing out on our deck, we could see a very
dark cloud moving over Pierce City, Missouri. From our home, it looked like
hay getting thrown up in the air and took about 60 seconds to complete.
When the tornado started to move on, it looked as if it were going to shift
the way it was going and it came back towards us for about 3 seconds and then
followed it's original path through Pierce City's countryside. After the
tornado moved on and we couldn't see it over our trees anymore in our yard,
we got in our van and went to Pierce City to see what had happened. We couldn't
even get close to Pierce City, the roads were blocked with tree's every which
way we went. So, we traveled home again and got old sweat suits on a grabbed
a flash light we could find and started for Pierce City again.
This time, we would have to park our vehicle and head out on foot. Having two
children in my daycare center live in Pierce City, I was determined to search
and find them and their families. We had to park a distance away from our
vehicle but left it at a friends home and started to walk towards Pierce
City. It was starting to get very dark but we were determined to help. It
being so dark, we had to feel our way around trees, fences, cars and all the
other things that were in the road not forgetting to mention the live wires
that were down everywhere.
We made it to the first house of one of the children I cared for at my daycare
and before we entered the house, we yelled for them. There was a big X on the
house but we entered and yelled again for any of them. As I beamed the flash-
light towards the wall, I seen the refrigerator and there was some of our pre-
school activities taped to the frige just waiting to be discovered. Their
house had very bad damage to it, so we left. We had the idea that they might
of tried to go to the Pierce City Armory so we headed down town but went more
to the west end of Pierce City where the other little boy I cared for in my
daycare lived. As we walked to the back of the Armory, I could see the apart-
ment complex that the boy lived in was very badly damaged and the roof was
gone. It led us to worry greatly for their safety.
We stayed in front of the Armory which was across from the second little boys
home. Many people were gathered at the rumor that a woman and several children
were stuck in the bottom of the Armory and we thought both the children's
family might be in there as well. While we were standing there in dis-belief
of the disaster that had happened, there was no evidence of the families we
were looking for. We headed back for our vehicle and got a ride from a friend.
We thought about the families that evening. The telephones wouldn't work and
they said to try our call later. All we could do is pray for them. The next
morning, I opened the daycare up as usual but the families were slow to hear
from. It took almost a week to get messages about all the families that we
hadn't heard from. We were one of the few with electricity. The daycare was
Around Wednesday afternoon I got through to both families relatives to check
on them and they were all safe but suffering emotionally from this disaster.
By the next week, I had all the children back and I can't begin to explain
the emotional wear of this disaster on the children. The children that lived
through it and the children that heard the adults terror in their voices as
they speak of the whole situation. I truely believe that the effects of the
tornado's May 2003 will have lasting emotional effects on the children as well
as the adults.
I tried to get things back to normal but anytime it would rain, the children
would become terrified and ask me if a tornado was coming again or they would
want to hold on to my hand until the rain stopped. For months they drew large
tornado's on their creative activities. I often over heard the two boys during
observation time explaining what happened to them or acting out their roles
during the tornado. One of the little boys carried a stuffed toy for the longest
This disaster will always be with us when it rains, storms or thunders. If you
have any photographs you would like to share with us for this page, just email
us. The picture below is when the National Guard secured the scene after the
tornado had hit. We had many of tourists coming in and out of Pierce City to
take photographs. They are all curious as well but at least they didn't have
to live through it.
Here is a apartment building that one of my daycare parents lived in during
the tornado. They were in the bathroom when the roof was lifted off of the
house. This is west of the Pierce City Armory.
Here are some helpful links related to the tornado's of May 2003
The Red Cross helps Pierce City
Harold Bell Wright Museum in Pierce City, Missouri
The SpringField News Leader reports on the Pierce City Tornado's
President Bush visits Pierce City
Pierce City people return to their damaged homes on May 6th, 2003
During the summer of 2004, we seen some wild clouds in the sky. I thought I would
share some of the photos with everyone. Look at these clouds in the sky above our
Also the summer of 2004, a tornado touched down in Monett, Missouri and this is
what photogaphs we took after it happened. This tornado took out the tomatoe plant
next to Casey's in Monett.
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These pages are Copyrighted ęBy Layton's Daycare and Preschool 2004 in all countries,in all languages. All photographs and stories posted on my site are for a
journal type site and I don't mind sharing but please don't take anything. They are not to be published in anyway in any language without my consent.