Surviving Joplin; man with local ties experiences tornado - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Surviving Joplin; man with local ties experiences devastating tornado


WAUSAU (WAOW)--Stefen Jaeger, who attended Wausau West, moved to Joplin last year. Little did he know he would witness one of the most devastating tornadoes in recent memory.

His experience was not only unique because of the circumstances of the storm, but also because Stefan was born deaf. "I'm not sure whether it would be worse to hear it coming...I think you'd be kind of numb and in shock," said Stefan's father Cory Jaeger.

When Cory and his wife heard about the destruction in Joplin Sunday night, they immediately tried to get in touch with Stefan and his girlfriend's family. Stefan moved to Joplin to live with them.

Cell service in Joplin was down, not to mention contacting Stefan over the phone is difficult because he can only communicate through text. Cory and his wife waited two agonizing hours before they got the news they'd hoped for.

"About eight o'clock he was able to get cell service to send a text message saying we're all still alive and all OK but the house was gone," said Cory.

Stefan, his girlfriend and her parents survived by crouching under a mattress in this laundry room. As you can imagine, hearing stories about the storm and seeing pictures of the leveled home he once lived in, make the Jaeger's eager to see their son. "We've told him a few times that he certainly can come back home and wed be happy to send a ticket or money or drive down and pick him up and bring him back."

To learn more about how you can help the Joplin tornado victims, click here.

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