Andover family finally move into rebuilt home exactly 1-year after tornado
ANDOVER, Kan. (KAKE) - "We were lucky that we weren't home. I had neighbors that were home, and they, you know, of course, were down in the basement. So they had to ride it out," said Chris Batcheller.
Batcheller remembers the night of the Andover tornado like it was yesterday.
He says it was a total fluke that they weren't at the house when it hit.
"My daughter wanted to go to the movies for the first time in like two years, you know, because of COVID," said Batcheller. "The way I found out was my neighbor texted me a picture, and I wrote back wow, where's that? You know, I was trying to figure out where that was because I didn't recognize it as my house."
Batcheller had no idea he would come home to nothing but a pile of rubble.
"Our house was, you know, completely obliterated. We didn't have a single wall standing," he said.
After spending a year stuck in a rental house, it's finally moving time and just one day before the first anniversary.
"It's a good feeling to feel like we're gonna be back in our own house because, you know, as nice as the rental house was, it just wasn't home, right? And so we've kind of felt like we've been in a hotel for a year," said Batcheller.
However, he says getting it done wasn't easy, and even though a year might seem like a long time, he didn't have high hopes it would happen.
"They said it could be longer just because of material shortages and things like that. I mean, as it was, it took, you know, four months for the windows to come in," he said.
Batcheller says it doesn't even feel real yet.
"I'm sure in a couple of months, it'll sort of hit us that we're kind of back. And hopefully, another tornado doesn't come and wipe us out again."
But if another tornado ever does hit again, he says they're ready.
"We did add a storm shelter down in the basement. So we had an extra wall poured, that's a concrete wall, so now we have a room that is fully enclosed concrete walls, ceiling, the whole nine yards," said Batcheller.