Mirabile couple safe after tornado destroys home

“It tells me that we’re not alone, that God is real and that he watched over and protected us,” said Duncan.

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 5:18 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2021 6:29 PM

(MIRABILE, Mo.) A Mirabile couple survived a tornado after it destroyed their home of 20 years. 

Sunday afternoon, a line of thunderstorms spawned several tornadoes across Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. One of those tornadoes ripped apart John and JoEllen Duncan's home while they were inside. 

“Right now, it feels kinda numb like I’ll wake up and it’s a dream,” said JoEllen Duncan, whose home was destroyed by a tornado. 

The couple was praying in a small bedroom, looking for answers on where a lost item could be. That's when they heard a strange noise.

JoEllen said her husband looked outside the bedroom window and saw a tornado making a straight-line for them. 

Five seconds later, the tornado struck. 

"John screamed, 'Tornado!' and we got on the floor and covered our heads," said Duncan. 

The Duncan's home of 20 years was destroyed in a matter of 30 seconds. JoEllen said at first, the couple thought their house was okay because the room they were in didn't sustain much damage, but once the couple stepped out, she said they could see the sky from inside their living room. 

The tornado ripped off the home's roof, left a gash in the kitchen and bedroom wall and the back of the house was gone. 

From the outside, the home looks unsurvivable, but the couple emerged unscathed. 

“It tells me that we’re not alone, that God is real and that he watched over and protected us,” said Duncan. 

JoEllen said remaining unharmed wasn't their only prayer answered. Within five minutes of the incident, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints showed up with helping hands. 

“Overall, we ended with 70 plus members of the congregation, neighbors. Everyone showed up on their own and I think that's something that’s unique to this small town in particular,” said Bishop John Dawson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Members of the congregation assisted the couple with salvaging what they could. 

JoEllen said while the house may be gone, but the 20 years of memories could never be blown away. 

“We’re just grateful that we’re safe and protected. A home you can rebuild,” said Duncan. 

In the meantime, the Duncans are staying with family while they figure out their next steps. No GoFundMe has been set up yet, but if you'd like to reach out to the family, contact JoEllen at 

St. Joseph
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Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 43°
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
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Hi: 50° Lo: 27°
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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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