The Roundup -

Local Man Survives Tornado, Loses Everything


Vernon Faaborg is lucky to be alive after being inside his home when a tornado hit earlier this year.​

June 30, 2015 is a day Vernon Faaborg will never forget. On his homestead south of Sidney, he was standing in the north bedroom of his trailer watching from his window.

"It was about 6 o'clock in the evening and I was watching for lighting strikes because I was worried about them starting fires. I saw the funnel cloud; it came through a grove of trees and bent all those trees down to the ground. It just laid them flat as it passed through the grove then they all sprung back up like saplings... full grown trees! I didn't have time to react," said Faaborg of his experience. "The tornado came to the back of the trailer and lifted it up like a cardboard box and then everything just exploded. I thought I was going to die. The next thing I know I was crawling through debris calling for my two little dogs; it must've thrown me. I crawled into a horse trailer and pretty soon my neighbors were there. They'd seen it coming and they took me to the hospital (Sidney Health Center) and they told me I had internal bleeding. I was flown to Billings... it was the first time I'd ever flown."

Faaborg recalls that all he really wanted to do was find his dogs. One was located without injury before he was taken to the hospital and his neighbors reassured him that they would go back to look for the second. The next morning he got a call that the dog had been found buried in the debris, cold, wet, and scared, but unharmed.

Faaborg spent the next month on crutches and then walked with a cane for a few weeks. He celebrated his 80th birthday just two weeks after the disaster. Faaborg had a total of five buildings on the land he's called home for the last 69 years and all five were destroyed. A second trailer on the property was thrown approximately 80 feet on top of his truck.

"It's unbelievable how swift and powerful tornadoes are," Faaborg said. "It took everything I had except for my two little dogs. I'm glad they're ok."

Faaborg, who had no property insurance, has since built a cabin for himself. He has a brother who came from Malta to help him build his new home and Faaborg says that he is doing ok and getting back to good health.

"Looking back on it, I can't believe I walked out of it. I want to thank everyone that's helped me. My neighbors have helped out a lot; there are a lot of good people here," added Faaborg.

Donations can be made to Vernon Faaborg at Wells Fargo Bank in Sidney or mailed to Faaborg at 35344 County Road 108, Sidney, MT, 59270.


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