Katie Posten noticed something on Saturday when she walked out to find her car parked outside her driveway. It looked almost like a receipt or note stuck to the windshield.

The photo was black and white and featured a girl in a sundressed and headscarf wearing a stripe and holding her little boy. On the back, written in cursive, it said, “Gertie Swatzell & J.D. Swatzell 1942.” A few hours later, Posten would discover that the photo had made quite a journey – almost 130 miles (209 kilometers) on the back of monstrous winds.

Posten was following the destruction caused by the tornadoes in the U.S. on Friday night. They were close to her home in New Albany (Indiana), which is across the Ohio River and from Louisville, Kentucky. So she figured it must be debris from someone’s damaged home.

“Seeing the date, I realized that was likely from a home hit by a tornado. How else is it going to be there?” Posten said in a phone interview Sunday morning. “It’s not a receipt. It’s well-kept photo.”

She posted a photo of her image on Instagram, as any 21st-century person would. FacebookTwitter to ask for assistance in finding their owners. She stated that she hoped someone would connect to the image or share it with another person who did.

Sure enough, that’s what happened.

“A lot of people shared it on Facebook. Someone came across it who is friends with a man with the same last name, and they tagged him,” said Posten, 30, who works for a tech company.

Katie Posten is holding both the front and back sides of a photograph that she found on her car’s windshield. This was taken Saturday, December 11, 2021, in New Albany, Ind. It is a photo taken from an Indiana tornado-damaged house in Kentucky. The photograph was almost 130 miles away. (Katie Posten via AP).
Source: Associated Press

Cole Swatzell was the man who said that the photo belonged a family member in Dawson Springs (Kentucky), almost 130 miles (209 km) from New Albany as the crow flies and 167 mi (269 km) by car. Swatzell on Sunday didn’t respond to a Facebook message seeking comment.

In Dawson Springs — a town of about 2,700 people 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Paducah — homes were leveled, trees were splintered and search and rescue teams continued to scour the community for any survivors. Five states saw dozens of victims.

The fact that the photo traveled almost 130 miles is “unusual but not that unusual,” said John Snow, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma.

One case, dating back to the 1920s shows that paper debris traveled over 230 miles between the Missouri Bootheel and southern Illinois. He said that the paper debris can ride winds and reach heights up to 30,000-40,000 feet.

“It gets swirled up,” Snow said. “The storm dissipates and then everything flutters down to the ground.”

Posten wasn’t alone in finding family photos and school pictures that had traveled dozens of miles in the tornadoes’ paths. A Facebook groupIt was established after storms to allow people to post photos or other objects, such as an ultrasound image that they found in their yard.

Posten intends to send the photo back to the Swatzells sometime in the next week.

“It’s really remarkable, definitely one of those things, given all that has happened, that makes you consider how valuable things are — memories, family heirlooms, and those kinds of things,” Posten said. “It shows you the power of social media for good. It was encouraging that immediately there were tons of replies from people, looking up ancestry records, and saying ‘I know someone who knows someone and I’d like to help.’”


Follow Mike Schneider @ https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Source: HuffPost.com.

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