Siloam Springs couple says unlikely source warned of an oncoming tornado


SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA) — A Siloam Springs couple was saved from an oncoming tornado thanks to an unlikely machine.

William and Beverly Lesh live in the city and said they weren’t prepared for last week’s storms that produced two tornadoes.

“I was watching a movie and crocheting,” Beverly Lesh said.

William Lesh went to bed early to prepare for kidney dialysis the next morning. Around midnight, the tornado touched down, but sirens didn’t sound in the city. They had no idea Mother Nature was bearing down on them.

But a machine used to promote breathing during sleep sounded an alarm.

“His BiPAP machine went off,” Beverly Lesh said. “It was really, really loud. The whole screen turned red.”

William Lesh got the BiPAP machine in September to help with a medical condition that dates back a couple of years. He sometimes stops breathing in the middle of the night, and the machine pushes air into his lungs.

The alert let them know to turn on the local news.

“[It] happened to be your channel that said there was a tornado,” Beverly Lesh said.

A machine designed to save William Lesh’s life when he sleeps could’ve done just that by waking him up.

“It saves his life in two different ways,” Beverly Lesh said. “I know now that if there’s some kind of warning or weatherwise that’s gonna happen, it’s gonna let us know. Then it saves him from dying when he’s sleeping.”

The Leshes weren’t aware the machine even had weather alerts. The screen flashed yellow during heavy flooding in early October, but the sound didn’t accompany it at that time.

“I’m a guy,” William Lesh said. “I don’t read directions. I didn’t know that stuff.”

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