He named her Endeavor to Persevere.
Joe Rossi’s small white and yellow boat lay prone in the front yard of his Ozark home off of Chesapeake Drive, where dozens of homes appeared damaged by a severe storm, likely a tornado, that swept through the neighborhood at around 8:30 p.m. on April 30.
Rossi explained that he and his wife rent the house off of North 13th Avenue and Chesapeake Drive where high winds tore roofs and walls from houses. The south side of Rossi’s house had severe damage from top to bottom. They were ready, and they stayed calm.
“We heard the sirens, and we’d been watching the news so we new what was coming,” Rossi said.
Rossi, a U.S. military veteran who says he experienced tropical storms in the Pacific Ocean while stationed in Hawaii, described taking cover.
“You could hear it, it sounded like a gigantic vacuum,” Rossi said, imitating the sound with his voice. “As soon as I heard that, I got her, I pushed her down and we crawled into an inner bathroom.”
The north side of Rossi’s house was fine, so that’s where they spent the night.
The Endeavor to Persevere was parked on a trailer in the driveway, which sits on the south edge of the property. The boat ended up upside down on the north side of the front yard, about 30 feet from where it had been parked.
“That’s the picture of unlucky right there,” Rossi said, gesturing toward his house.
His goals for the rest of the day were simple: take plenty of photographs to show to his insurance company, take the outboard motor off of his boat, and load the motor into the bed of a pickup truck.
He had some help from neighbors willing to lend a hand, as Ozark residents banded together in the storm’s aftermath. They even managed some smiles and a “have a great day,” at the end of a conversation.
Rossi said he and his wife were in the process of closing on a house in Springfield, but their initial moving day of May 1 had been pushed back because of delays. Instead, he spent May 1 picking up the pieces of his boat.
Rossi first purchased the small craft in 2014, and said it took a couple of years for him to get it registered and in good enough shape to put on the water. Rossi, a truck driver by trade, gave the Endeavor to Persevere her name after miscalculating how rough the waves would be on July 4, on Table Rock Lake.
“We nearly drowned in it because we went out on Table Rock with all of those big boats,” Rossi said. “It was terrifying. I didn’t let on to the people that were with me, but I’ve never been terrified like that before.”
Compared to that holiday on Table Rock Lake, the April tornado was a less frightful experience for Rossi and his wife. It also wasn’t the only mishap for the boat.
“Recurring things happen. This boat—the engine seized up right in the same place the Duck boat capsized and went under,” Rossi said. “The engine died right in that very spot.”
Despite surviving all that Table Rock could throw at her, it was oddly a tornado on land in Christian County that may have finally done in the Endeavor to Persevere.
“This might have been it’s last resting spot. It’s wicked,” Rossi said.