A near miss: Destin native experiences Oklahoma tornado first hand

Tina Harbuck
Brandon Posey, 26, was out helping in the Shawnee community Friday morning. He said Moore was receiving a lot of attention and that there was a need in the Shawnee area.

With their son more than 900 miles away and communication cut to a minimum, Robin and Bill Posey worried about the safety of Brandon and his wife Jacqueline that live in Moore, Okla., as an EF5 twister ripped through the area Monday.

"I was a nervous wreck the whole day," Robin said.

She had received a call from her father-in-law about the tornado heading straight for Moore, where Brandon, her 26-year-old son, is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base.

"I turned on the TV and was watching it live as it was hitting," she said.

Robin said she called Brandon's cell phone and Jacqueline answered. Jacque said they had planned to head to their safe room under their house, but instead they were out videoing the storm.

"He went out their storm chasing," Bill said. "He was being crazy … although he said he was getting ready to get in his shelter. I taught him to be smart and protect your family and yourself. But he didn't listen," Bill laughed.

"We actually saw it pass from Newcastle to Moore," Brandon said. He and his wife were out in an open field, along with others watching the twister.

"It was kind of an adrenaline rush to watch something like that," he said. Brandon actually got out and recorded the tornado as it approached.

As they watched the storm get bigger and closer they were not exactly sure as to what they would be going home to.

The path of the tornado came within 1 1/2 miles of their home.

"It took a bunch of our friend’s houses out," Brandon said. "They suffered a complete loss."

"We're very fortunate that all we had was a little debris in our yard," he said. "There was a lot of mud splattered on the west side of our house."

He said the mud could have possibly come from a nearby horse farm that was demolished.

Once the tornado ripped through and they were able to head back home, "it was bumper to bumper traffic," he said.

"We were on the west side, so it took about three hours to get back home," he said, noting they had to go about 20 to 30 miles out of the way to get home.

"Once we got back in the damaged area, we knew ours was safe," he said.

However, family in Destin waited for word from the couple.

"We couldn't make any phone calls," Brandon said. "My mother and father were quite worried … they didn't know if we were okay."

Robin said she finally got through a little after 8 p.m. Monday.

"He said the house was okay," Robin said. "It gives me goose shivers just to know it missed his house by just a couple of miles."

The two just got married last September and this is their first home, Robin said.

As soon as they checked their home, Brandon said they walked into a few neighborhoods to "see if everybody was okay."

Friday, he and Jacque had plans to go to the neighboring community Shawnee, which suffered a lot of damage as well.

"We'll go out and volunteer and help the people there," he said, noting Moore was getting a lot of attention.

"We were blessed. We had power, but no cable and internet." However, they were told not to use water for a couple of days, due to a power plant failure.

"We haven't got to take a shower for two days," he said.

"But we're thankful and we're praying for those that lost everything. Now we're trying to serve our country and city and to try and get them back to a normal life and on their feet."  

To see Brandon Posey's video of the storm, click here.