It was about 11 o`clock Saturday when Debra Chalfin got the text on her phone from a local TV station alerting her to a tornado warning just issued in her area.
The family, who lives in the Wood-Lake Mobile Home Park on Cummings Rd., in Millbury, did just what they were supposed to – they planned to head to their designated “safe place,” which happened to be just down the road at Lake High School.
Wasting no time, Debra rounded up her family – her husband Dean, daughters Danielle Chalfin and Jennifer Knoblock ,stepson Eric Eischen and Lincoln, the family dog, and got in the car.
When they got to the school, they called 9-1-1 to arrange to be let in, and members of the Lake Township Fire Department responded.
As they were waiting for the doors to open, the lights went out. “We were still standing outside, and we looked up and saw the tornado coming,” Debra said.
Once they were let inside the building, the family and the firefighters found an alcove in a hallway and hunkered down to ride out the raging storm outside.
“We got situated and were sitting down like we were supposed to; in less than five minutes it hit,” she said. “We could feel it. We heard a lot of wind, and all of a sudden, all of this debris started coming down the hallway.”