-- Heidi Medeiros was enjoying the circus with her young son in Lancaster, New Hampshire, Monday evening, when a rainstorm suddenly turned deadly, and she was desperate to get her 3-year-old away from the chaos.
"We’re all looking, thinking, it’s just a rainstorm, no big deal," Medeiros said via Skype.
She had taken her son, Jax, to Monday's circus to celebrate his upcoming 4th birthday.
"Then all of a sudden it just went completely dark inside and we see the circus people are starting to leave the tent. And somebody's screaming, 'Get out, get out, get out.'"
Families had just sat down to watch the 5:30 p.m. show when, at about 5:46 p.m., a severe storm ripped a tent out of the ground and sent metal poles crashing into the audience, officials said.
"I see [the poles] start to come out of the ground and fly up into the air towards us. So I took my son ... and threw him underneath the bleacher and threw myself on top of him," Medeiros said.
She said just seconds later, a pole slammed onto the bleacher, "right where we had just been."
"You just hear these children screaming and crying, and things are flying all over the place," Medeiros said. "It’s just complete chaos."
Winds were up to 60 mph when the tent came out of the ground, said New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan. Two people were killed and about 32 people were treated for injuries, Degnan said.
About 100 people were in the tent at the time, he said.
Medeiros said all she could think was, "I just need to get my son out of there."
As hail came down, Medeiros said, she took her son and ran away from the scene, through ankle-deep water. She said the sound of her son's screams "will haunt me the rest of my life."
According to Medeiros, the tent didn't fall down or collapse.
"It was literally lifted up through the air," she said. "And just as the canvas was taken off, the poles that were holding it all the way up through the top of the tent were just coming at people."
Degnan said it's unknown why the show continued during a severe thunderstorm warning.
The incident is under investigation, Degnan said. There's no indication there will be any charges, Degnan said.