FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Glass Storm: A Survivor’s Story

Fox Valley Regional News


What is now classified as an EF-5 tornado, tore through Dane County, fourteen year ago on August 18, 2005, leaving 27 injured and one man dead.

A Green Bay mother and daughter, who survived the more than 200 mile an hour winds, shared their experience with Local Five News.

Sally was home alone and 14 years later, you can hear the anxiety in Sally’s voice.

“I saw dark and green and gray just a ferocious color that’s just so not what you are accustomed to seeing.”

Sally Lovell

Sally had a very human reaction to the tornado.

“I shut the door, like that is going to stop the tornado because I shut the door.”

Sally Lovell

After closing out Mother Nature, Sally’s motherly nature kicked in to make what she thought would be her final call.

“My mom called on the Nextel and said “honey i love you, i think i’m going to die”. There’s tornado coming towards the house.”

Mary Lovell

With seconds to act Sally grabbed Maddy, the family Schnauzer, took shelter inside the basement shower as 200 miles an hour winds walloped through her neighborhood.

“I put my hands over my ears, because you have so much pressure. There was so much pain.The sounds. It was like a freight train on top. The vibration in the floor. I was just trembling. I heard glass exploding. I heard windows upstairs. I heard so many unfamiliar sounds just banging and pounding and pounding.”

Sally Lovell

The pounding did stop, Sally climbed out of her mangled home and was eventualu reunited with her family.

“We just ran towards my mother and hugged.”

Mary Lovell

Now fast forward to mid-July of this year and all that’s left of the 20 plus tornadoes that swept across northeast Wisconsin are dead branches and leaves, but for Sally and her daughter Mary it was an unbelievable twist of déjà vu.

“The irony of this is that our book comes out in a month and we’re in a tornado warning in a basement right now in July of 2019.”

Mary Lovell

Yes a book, Glass Storm was written after 14 years of healing and still vivid memories.

“Everything I remember from that day was glass. My feet were cut up.There was glass everywhere. The sounds of taking snow-shovels to move pounds of glass at a time into these bins to get it out of the neighborhood. So, I looked at my mom and said this is a glass storm, so there’s title.”

Mary Lovell

In addition to the book, inside the Lovell’s home hangs a paper angel, another reminder of that fateful day, given to Sally by her then 7 year old son.

“He made it for Mother’s day.So we hung it on a light fixture a couple months prior to the tornado.”

Sally Lovell

“200 mile an hour winds had just ripped through our home and this little piece of paper with string and not a scratch on it..”

Mary Lovell

Sally and Mary will release their book on Saturday, September 14th at Barnes and Noble in the Village of Ashwaubenon. The complete address is: Village of Ashwaubenon, 2498 S Oneida St, Green Bay, from 1 to 3 p.m. You can purchase your copy on Amazon .

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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