Twisters: A tale of two sisters

Sisters Jessica and Becca separately experienced tornados in Joplin and Washington Illinois.

Two Camp Point natives have shared an experience that is unlike any other.

Sisters Jessica Pittman and Becca Alves separately experienced tornadoes in Washington, Illinois, and Joplin, Missouri.

It's a connection that they never thought they would share.

"It's one of those things that you see, things like this on the news, but you never expect it to be something that hits your home town," Pittman said.

For Alves, she was pregnant and living in Joplin, Missouri when the EF-5 tornado overtook her home in May of 2011 and left her, as she calls it, a refugee.

"When you first go through it, you're in survival mode," Alves said. "And so you're almost so clouded with ... "okay we need this, we need this, we need this." But, then it's hard to see beyond what do we need to make it through today."

Pittman was at church in Sunday School when the EF-4 tornado hit her town of Washington in November of 2013, and

counts herself lucky that she and her family were able to walk away unharmed.

"Becca was one of the first people after, you know, just the make sure everything, everybody knows that we're safe," Pittman said. "And you were the first real conversation I had saying "Okay, what do we do?""

Although they were close before the tornadoes struck, Pittman and Alves said experiencing something like this has brought them even closer.

Pittman currently works at her church with relief efforts for victims of the Washington tornado.

"The days that I'm tired from helping and things like that, I feel like Becca will understand that kind of stuff and will know what it's like," Pittman said.

While cleanup continues in both cities, these sisters know that without each other, recovery wouldn't have been possible.

"This experience affects you forever," Alves said. "You will always be learning something from what you went through."

Pittman added to those sentiments.

"You just do not know what tomorrow will hold," Pittman said.