‘The cat went flying out of the door’: Mom, kids describe tornado destroying home as they hid in closet

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:04 AM CDT
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SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - A mother and her two daughters said they watched an EF-3 tornado that came through the Salado area destroy their home as they hid in a closet.

Knealie Califano and her daughters Everly and Arya were home on Southbend Road Tuesday when the tornado hit.

Califano said she immediately pulled her daughters into a small coat closet as strong winds rattled their home.

“I just tried to make myself as big as possible because one was getting sucked upwards and one was going between my legs,” Califano said.

The girls frightened held on to their mom but describe feeling fearful and even thinking they would die.

“It was just really scary, there was glass all over the floor,” said Everly. Arya says the rattling of their home felt like “a huge crowd was banging on all the walls.”

Despite sheltering in a closet, the storm soon ripped through their front door sucking their cat out of the house.

“I turned to shut the door and the glass busted and the cat went with it,” Califano described.

Fortunately, Dobby the cat returned the next day and the family found it lying on the girls’ bed the next morning.

Beyond that, nothing else was normal. The girls’ toys, clothes, and the family’s belongings were all thrown about their yard. The family has severe damage to their roof and structural damage to their walls leaving their house uninhabitable.

An RV parked in the yard containing Califano’s work items was destroyed too.

“My work stuff, my crystals, clothing is just all thrown about so it’s been an interesting treasure hunt picking those up around the yard. You know we were prepping the yard for a Easter egg hunt this weekend and now we are hunting for crystals and clothes,” Califano said.

The family is looking for a temporary home for their family of 4. They are also accepting donations via this GoFundMe page set up to help them recover.

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