LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Nearly 13-years ago a tornado changed the lives of one of our co-workers here at Today's THV. Now, a replica of his basement will give visitors to the new Museum of Discovery an experience like none other.
"Although there was lightning in the sky it never occurred to us that there was a possibility of a tornado coming anywhere near where we were at."
In a matter of minutes that sense of security was broken for residents living in the Quapaw Quarter district of downtown Little Rock.
The footage on the screen is actual news coverage from January 21st, 1999. That day of devastating storms can now be re-lived in the newly renovated Museum of Discovery.
The exhibit "Tornado Alley" allows you to ride out the storm in a mock basement.
:47"Almost instantly it went from daylight to dark. The clouds were so thick when they moved in."
Thomas Kroepfl, an employee at Today's THV and the man who's basement the new exhibit was modeled after remembers that winter day.
"As soon as I felt the pressure change, I knew the weather wasn't right, something horrible was about to happen. I didn't expect a tornado would pretty much drop out of the sky and hit us, but I knew almost instantly that it was going to hit us."
Kroepfl says, he actually never made it all the way into his basement that night.
"I made it to the basement door, but never made it into the basement. I just stuck myself into the corner and at that point all the windows blew out."
The tornado did extensive damage to the exterior of Kroepfl's state street home and he says a bathtub even landed on his car.
"There was a bathtub caved right into it and we have no idea where it came from, but we took it and had it re-done and stuck it upstairs in our bathroom."
The claw foot tub now serves as a reminder of what his family went through that day.
Now, you can hear memories from those who experienced the twister more than a decade ago.