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Sheltering Charlotte by Elle James
Passions ignite between a cop and a city girl trapped in a cellar while a storm ravages Hellfire, Texas

Excerpt from “Sheltering Charlotte”…

A heavy roaring sound, accompanied by sideways rain, made him glance toward the end of Main Street.

That’s when he saw it. A wide funnel cloud, pounding the earth, spinning everything up in its path, headed straight for Hellfire. Sheets of mangled tin roofing, boards, huge tree branches were caught up in the funnel and flung outward.

With only seconds to spare, Logan burst through the front door of the old house.

Charlotte stood behind a heavy sander, holding tightly to the handles as it ate at the finish on the floor. She’d gone the length of the room several times, with dust making the air murky.

Her back to the door, she hadn’t heard him enter.

Logan grabbed the cord to the sander and yanked it out of the electrical socket. The sander spun to a stop.

Charlotte fiddled with the on switch, trying to make it start again.

Logan was halfway across the floor when she finally turned. Her eyes widened. “Logan? What the hell?”

He didn’t have time to explain. Having visited the house so many times in his teens, he knew where the storm cellar was. He grabbed Charlotte’s hand. “Let’s go!”

“What’s wrong?” she cried out as he dragged her through the living room into the kitchen. Already, he could hear the wind wailing at the windows and the roof.

“Tornado!” he yelled above the roar of the funnel cloud bearing down on their small town.

Charlotte pulled an earplug out of her ear and ripped the mask off her face. “What?”

“Tornado!” he yelled again as he reached for the heavy metal door of the storm cellar, leading off the back door of the kitchen. He dragged it open and pushed Charlotte toward the stairs. “Go! Go! Go!”

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Have you ever experienced winds strong enough to fell trees or an actual tornado? Do you have a place in your house designated as your storm shelter? 
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  1. Excellent story Elle. Yes I have experienced a tornado. I used to live in Indiana. When I was smaller the house we lived in had a basement but it was taking water on. We almost didn’t get the front door shut because of the wind. But we were lucky. The houses across the street got hit but ours didn’t. That’s why I hate storms.

  2. I almost experienced a tornado. We’ve definitely gotten storms that had hurricane force winds. We don’t have a designated place as a storm shelter.

  3. A bunch of trees fall down or split where I live during micro bursts… it is sad to see after a storm, the debris all over the place and the condition of the poor trees.

  4. I live in Idaho and we’ve had a few tornados touch down but mostly in the unpopulated areas and they don’t do much damage. We also have storms where the wind blows up to at least 60 miles per hour and we have trees that come down. As if right now we don’t need a room to go to.

  5. I live up on a high plateau, winds are the norm around here, especially in winter.

    No designated shelter, we just close the house up tight and hope for the best.

    The summer storms bring rain with the winds.

    (I need to move.)

  6. I have experienced bad weather like that but where I now live I do not have a shelter.

  7. One night while we were putting our young daughters to bed we heard what sounded like a huge freight train going right over our house. There was no time for shelter…we were just lucky, the tornado was hopping and skipping and it just hopped right over us. Having been born and raised in St. Louis Missouri, where tornadoes were a common occurrence, I was still scared after the fact of the tornado just luckily skipped over us.

  8. Hurricane Irma hit the area where I live in 2017. We live in a mobile home near the gulf coast of Florida so we evacuated a few miles further inland. We were so lucky that the storm changed and didn’t have as much force as predicted in our area. Our home only lost a little bit of the vinyl siding. The winds were pretty terrifying in the condo where we stayed. It was so sad to see all of the uprooted trees along the road as we returned to our home.

  9. Luckily where I live we do not have tornadoes, but we have strong winds from time to time. It is scary just watching it on tv, never mind living through one.

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