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Stoughton neighbors reflect on 2005 tornado

Oklahoma damage brings back painful memories

STOUGHTON, Wis - It hasn't been easy for Charlotte Schniberg to watch the destruction and turmoil in Oklahoma. She flips through a photo album filled with pictures of splintered wood piles, destroyed cars and her house half knocked down.

"I remember that day as if it were, like, yesterday," Schniberg said.

That day was Aug. 18, 2005. A tornado classified as an EF3 ripped through the Pleasant Springs neighborhood in Stoughton, destroying many houses in its path.

Just 17 days after she moved into her new home, Schniberg said she was home alone with her cat when she heard the tornado coming. She ran to the bathroom in her basement and hunkered down.

"I had to brace the door so it wouldn't blow in, but I could hear glass popping and you know all different kinds of noises," Schniberg said.

When everything ended, Schniberg couldn't get up the stairs. All of the wood from upstairs now blocked that way up. She walked barefoot across broken glass outside to meet her neighbors.

Stoughton neighbors reflect on 2005 tornado

Somehow, by that Christmas, she had rebuilt her home. However, Schniberg said her heart goes out to those hit by the destruction in Oklahoma.

"I hope they never get the depression that could set in after something like that because its something that's really hard to understand why it happened and why them," Schniberg said, "because I know that's what I thought. Why us, you know?"

Schniberg said she understands how much more severe the Oklahoma tornado was, both in strength and destruction. She said if she could, she would travel south to help.

"But they had it much much worse," Schniberg said, "and I wish I could be down there to give them moral support. You know, I think they need it."

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