- Steve and Vicki Bucher weren't worried when the sirens started
- There's virtually nothing left of their home, aside from the dining room floor
- The tornadoes left six people dead in Illinois, two in Michigan
Steve Bucher is standing on the immaculate hardwood floor of his dining room. But there are no walls around him, and no ceiling.
All that remains of Bucher's Washington, Illinois, home sits below this floor.
There is no sign of his furniture. Two of his cars were thrown across the street in this affluent neighborhood.
He says his eight-year-old home was solidly built, with brick and poured concrete. You couldn't tell that now.
Some of the houses down the street were untouched -- but Bucher's home appears to have taken a direct hit from Sunday's EF-4 tornado that devastated this city, just east of Peoria.
"It breaks your heart... but when the force of God comes to pass, (upscale homes) don't stand any better than a little shack stands, it's just all man-made stuff."
When Bucher and his wife of 45 years, Vicki, returned home Sunday from a trip to Indianapolis, they had no clue severe weather was in the forecast, he said.
They weren't home long before they started hearing sirens. But they'd heard them before, and were busy getting ready for church.
Steve made a plate of spaghetti. Vicki decided to take a bath.
But neither his dinner nor her bath were enjoyed for very long before Vicki's phone alerted her to the coming danger.
Suddenly, the wind was howling. They knew they needed to get to the basement -- and fast.
They managed to get to an interior hallway. "We had hardly any time to get anywhere else," Steve said.
He was still holding his plate of spaghetti.
"The house just started pulsing from the force of the wind and then just started cracking... I wasn't so much thinking about the sounds and all of that, as much as thinking, you know, this very well could be the end of things, you know, we are right in the middle of an absolute calamity here."
Vicki felt something warm hit her body and thought Steve must have been hurt.
It was the plate of spaghetti. One of the few remaining walls has the stains to prove it.
When things quieted down, they walked out to find an empty space where their home once sat.
Most of their belongings were gone, but as Steve said, "The only important thing I had in this house walked out of it with me."
Since he lost his daughter to cancer, material things don't matter as much anymore.
"That was way, way tougher than this. Way tougher than this," he said, fighting back tears. "This is, this is stuff... You live long enough and you gain perspective, I guess. We'll get through this."