Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

A Twist(er) of Fate for Tornado Survivors

mess_logoPublished May 2003 in The Messenger,
The Newspaper of the Belleville Catholic Diocese


The silence was eerie. No one screamed, no one cried and no one spoke. Crowded among 25 people in a frigid meat cooler, Mark Philpott said a prayer.

At that moment, a tornado plummeted through the County Market in Canton, Mo. as the building shook, beams crashed to the ground and winds up to 230 mph caused the walls to cave. No one screamed, no one cried and no one spoke. Mark Philpott kept praying.

Thirty miles away, Joanne Gough was also saying a prayer as another tornado edged closer to the flea market she was working in Rutledge, Mo. A member of Our Lady of Assumption parish, the Fairview Heights resident was with her sister and their 73-year old mother when she noticed large debris falling from the sky.

“It was really something to see,” Gough said. “I just kept saying ‘please don’t let it hit us’.” Continue reading


July 15, 2009 Posted by | Feature Stories, Newspaper Writing | , , | Leave a comment