WILLCOX — Their trailer was lifted into the air and then shoved onto its side. Although they were banged up, the two occupants lived to tell their story.
Vickie and Shannon Brown, mother and daughter, live together in their trailer off Hamilton Road, on the outskirts of Willcox. Last Monday night, they were in their RV fifth wheel with their dog when the storm came up.
In an interview with the Range News, Shannon said that as the wind got harder, she began to close all the windows. After she did, hail began to beat on the trailer.
“It was wind, and the wind picked up, and the only thing I could tell you is that (the wind) changed. Something just changed, and keep in mind that this happened very quickly, like it was very fast,” Shannon said. “We’re talking seconds. Her and I happened to make eye contact when the almost like a howling sound happened . . . I don’t know how to describe it. We made eye contact, she had two hands on her, her hands on me, and we had our dog between us, and we squeezed her in with our elbows. We were on the couch, and, honestly, it was so fast we barely did that and it was done. The thing moved us.”
The trailer was lifted off its blocks and shoved onto its side as rain water came pouring in on Vickie and Shannon through the broken windows above them. The lights went out instantly, leaving them in what Shannon described to the Range News as icy, wet darkness.
The door to the trailer was pinned beneath the trailer, making it impossible to get out. Vickie and Shannon felt around in the dark, trying to find their phones, using the flashes of lightning from outside to search. According to Shannon, the tornado touchdown warning occurred roughly 10 minutes after their trailer was lifted. However, if it wasn’t for the warning, they would have never found their phones.
“We were able to call for help,” Shannon said. “We were just huddling in there. We were cold, anxious; the dog was hurt; we were hurt. There was blood on all of us. Honestly, the rescue, the ambulance, the Cochise County Sheriff were so fast getting there. They came to one side to try and get us out; it wasn’t accessible, so they had to go through the back to get us out.”
Vickie and Shannon were both admitted to the hospital. Vickie had two black eyes, and Shannon’s nose was broken in three different places. The dog was relatively unharmed.
At this point, the Browns are homeless and living in a hotel room provided by the Red Cross. An account for the “Browns’ Tornado Fund” has been set up at Cochise Credit Union.
To contribute to the Browns’ gofundme go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-the-twisters-shannon-amp-vicki.