The Day After

On March 16, 2012, the Dexter community quickly came together to overcome a natural disaster that affected many

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

The peace that preceded the tornado was followed by shock. Dexter’s bubble finally popped.  A community that once stood in silence came together. Adversity was a rare thing for the 4,127 citizens of Dexter to face, as nothing serious has ever happened in the small, peaceful town.

Before the sun rose that day, the streets of each neighborhood were packed with insurance companies, disaster relief companies, and newscasters getting prepared to deliver a story about  a village in southeast Michigan.  News about the tornado reached all over the nation reaching even to Hawaii.

Dexter exemplified a close knit community. Local businesses and restaurants donated food and other goods to the devastated areas. Busch’s played a key role in helping families by donating cases of water and having a cookout that night. To add to this, Mill Creek Middle School and Creekside Intermediate both combined with The Red Cross, and opened up their doors for people who needed a place to stay that night

Gloves, long pants, boots, protective eyewear, tools.  All were used to collectively gear up the people of Dexter.  Adults and kids alike came from all over the district to help the unfortunate families in Huron Farms, Horseshoe Bend, and numerous other businesses and households.  Kids ventured out into the neighborhood to help clean up the possessions of others like drywall, insulation, siding, furniture, roofing shingles, and, sadly, more.  Despite the chaos of the tornado, citizens of Dexter were at their friendliest.  People walked around with food and water for the affected and for the workers.  Businesses, like Busch’s by Huron Farms, opened their pantry to help feed families that lost their ability to fulfill the task of preparing something as basic as food.

The winds that the tornado produced equated to those consistent with an EF3 tornado; easily ripping through the seemingly insignificant village.  Over one hundred houses were hit and thirteen were completely totaled.  In total, the damage took a

In all, while the people may have had different opinions, goals, and lifestyles, in the end the community came together and put aside their differences.  This is because we’re all human and deserve love during times of grief.  By coming together during the tornado the people of Dexter shows why we live by one phrase: Dreadstong.

Pizza, Nosebleeds, Chaos

Then seventh graders, two editors remember how a 5:15 greenish sky distruped the calm, forever impacting their lives

by Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc

Caden Koenig:

Remembering back, as a seventh grader all the days seem like a blur. As a seventh grader the experiences of the whole year feel like one memory. This is with the exception of March 15th and the few days that followed it.

The day started as an average Michigan day: 70 degrees and sunny… in March. All morning, the weather was celebrated with T-shirts and shorts. It was a fantastic surprise considering the prior days were 40 degrees at the most.

Now, like I said, most of my memories blur as just being an average day and so was the beginning of this day. In fact, I even remember walking home with friends.

It was about 3:30 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The day slowly progressed with my friends, and I was likely playing basketball or football outside.

Around 4:30 the clouds quickly started to roll in and the sky got darker and darker.  My parents had ordered Jets pizza for dinner.

We planned to eat on our patio in our backyard. By the time my dad went to get the pizza, 10 minutes later, the Severe Weather Warning Alert blared through the television. Immediately following, the tornado siren from the village started echoing.

At about 5:15, the sky was a green tint, the thunder was loud, the lightning lit up the sky with every strike, and my dad and I were eating Jet’s on the porch. However, this did not last long due to a mix of the uncomfortably high wind speeds, and my mom freaking out about us being outside. So, we rushed to the basement with our candles, flash lights, and pizza due to the power outage.

By 6:00, it was over. The shock set in almost instantly. The roads were flooded. Trees were uprooted. Clothes, rugs, and furniture lay throughout the neighborhood. My family and I sat on our porch for hours unsure what to do.

I had always looked up to my parents when I didn’t know what to do, but at this moment it seemed like nobody knew how to act.  It seemed surreal, not only that night but the days that followed as well.

Nick LeBlanc:

Calm. The sky, the temperature, the people.  All was calm. The birds chirped welcomingly till it became a normality to the ear. The pleasantly curious warm air tiptoed through the trees and reached as the breeze caressed human skin. Kids walked and played as the seductive nature lured kids to embrace the day.

I took my time on the walk home that day.  Fully indulging in the surprising beauty of the day. Even the sight of my colleague, Caden Koenig, leaking blood from his nasal cavity wasn’t enough to take away from the grace of the day. Besides the spontaneous nose bleed and the warm winter day (yes, March 15th is still considered winter), the day was normal.

After my arrival home, things settled down as I waited for my father to return home to take me to baseball practice. That’s when the peace of the day began to change. Seemingly out of nowhere, an overcast of distasteful clouds took to the sky.  The welcomingly chirp of the birds was halted.  Kids went back inside as a brigade of dark clouds approached from the distance.

Being a curious kid, I was constantly checking the sky behind my deck.  As per usual, when a storm was in sight, I made constant, annoying suggestions claiming there was a tornado.  As cliché as it sounds, I was actually right for once.

The wall of wind was in the distance, but since I knew the approximate travel of the storm, I felt the urgency to tell my brother and father. While my brother and I decided the best idea was to run into the basement, my father thought the best idea was to inspect the tornado from up close. After realizing that the cone of wind was indeed a tornado and in our neighborhood, he finally came to the conclusion that maybe he should be in the basement.

We looked out the windows in the basement and all we saw was the gray of the storm. We heard the wind rushing against the house and the hail bombarding the siding. Eventually a tree fell and blocked our view of everything, even the ominous gray color.

The sun came out. It seemed calm again, but after the shock dissipated, it was clear that nothing was calm. My friends and I decided to walk the neighborhood.  Police, people, and the remnants of destroyed houses were a common sight around evry block.

The calm scene that was set earlier was gone. The new scene had rolled in: chaos.

Memories from Members of DHS

Five years after the Dexter Tornado, two students, a teacher, and an administrator reflect on the how the day has changed their lives

By Megan Sarns and Julia Bell

Having formerly lived in Florida, sophomore Kara Young and her family are used to ominous weather conditions.

“We had hurricane after hurricane near our house,” she said.

So, when a storm started rolling into Dexter on March 15, she didn’t think much of it. The family was actually getting ready to go to church for weekly “Thursday night dinners.”

Continue reading “Memories from Members of DHS”