Windsor tornado survivors reflect on storm’s lasting impact on their lives

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WINDSOR, Colo. -- Tuesday marked the 10 year anniversary of the Windsor tornado, and people who survived that day reflect on the storm's impact on their lives.

The tornado touched down around noon on May 22, 2008. It killed one person, destroyed 78 homes and racked up $125 million in property damage.

One of the most distinct destruction images of that day was Windmill Child Enrichment Center, a day care that had been in the middle of the tornado's path.

Angi Ruiz works at the center now and was a part of the team back then too. Her daughter, Alysia Ruiz, was five-year-old at the time and was enrolled at the center. Ruiz said when the weather took a turn, they sheltered inside the child care center -- Angi was in a bathroom with toddlers and infants while Alysia was against a wall in the gym.

"It didn’t seem like very long but all of a sudden my ears started popping," said Angi Ruiz.

"We saw glass breaking and things flying around and we saw part of the roof kind of lift off," said Alysia Ruiz.

Alysia said for a long time, she was fearful of storms. It's taken her years to overcome those fears.

"I used to be deathly afraid of storms and I couldn’t handle the wind and the rain and now I am fine with it," said Alysia Ruiz.

While Windsor has repaired and moved on, Alysia said she can still see the storms impact in herself.

"Now I don’t take as much for granted as I used to because you never know if it’s going to happen again. It could all be gone in an instant," said Alysia Ruiz.

Angi Ruiz said after going through that storm, she's always looking for ways to help others.

"Helping other people is a huge thing. We had so much help that day that we wanted to pay it forward. Especially those that go through the same thing that we have," said Angi Ruiz.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.