GREENWOOD, Ind. (December 24, 2015) - An EF-1 tornado tore through Greenwood Wednesday afternoon leaving a trail of damage and destruction behind.
The tornado narrowly missed Rainbow Childcare Center. Workers described seeing the sky turn dark very quickly. They said they heard a severe thunderstorm siren go off shortly before the tornado hit.
“Something white went flying past the windows, like eye level, and I thought that was kinda odd, and it got super dark, like pitch black," said Dawn Harvey.
She said there's train tracks near the daycare center, but the noise she heard was anything, but a train.
“It was just so loud and it was, I don’t know how to explain it, it was like a heavy sound and it was directly over the roof," Harvey said.
The EF-1 tornado ripped through the neighborhood surrounding the daycare and just missed hitting the building. Harvey and other daycare workers quickly gathered 20 kids inside a small bathroom in the back of the daycare. 30 other kids sheltered in the hallway and staff lounge.
"They did exactly what they were supposed to do, nobody panicked, nobody screamed," said Harvey.
Staff attributes the calmness to plenty of practice from both kids and the staff. Program Director, Jenn Wycoff, said they practice tornado drills at least once a month. While they may not have been expecting a December tornado, Wycoff said it was a Christmas miracle no one got hurt.
“We could not have gotten more lucky. The fact that it started literally across the street," Wycoff said.
The daycare usually has more than 100 kids each day. On Wednesday, about they had only about half of that because of the holidays. Workers say the small numbers worked in their favor to keep the kids safe.