Storm tosses Morgan County couple's home with them inside

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

A state of emergency has been declared for Morgan County after a strong storm ripped through the area. Many homes and businesses were damaged by the winds and storm.

From the street, Lincoln Haven's home looks to be spared, but a closer look shows things aren't always as they appear to be.

"You can see my front porch, there, it was attached to it [the house]," pointed Havens, to his mobile home that was shifted away from the deck and off the blocks.

Havens and his fiancé say they were asleep inside, when the storm hit the side of their house.

"It happened so fast," recalled Havens, who admits he is a heavy sleeper.

"The house tipped over on it's side, and I saw the microwave fly across the room," described Haven's fiancé, Stacey Whitaker, adding that she then covered her head with a blanket until the rocking was over.

Inside the home, the TV the couple was watching was thrown to the ground, holes were knocked into the wall and household items were scattered everywhere.

Outside the home, more damage from the storm serves as a chilling reminder of what the couple survived.

"It moved three feet," said Havens, "[the storm] raised it up and it slid us up against the wall."

The only reason why the mobile home didn't completely roll over- the family's car parked behind the house caught the house.

"It rolled out back, and it did that about three times," pointed Havens to the smashed car behind his mobile home.

"I didn't know what was happening and I thought we were going to die," thought Whitaker.

The car was crushed, and a telephone pole was toppled over, but still the pair know their survival was a miracle.

Meanwhile, cleanup efforts were going on all over the county. Just four miles from Haven's home, in West Liberty, the a shopping strip was ripped up by the storm, scattering debris everywhere.

"No one can ever understand Mother Nature," stated Morgan County Magistrate Freddy Spencer.

Still, for Havens and Whitaker, they are grateful to be alive but the reality of what happened was slowly becoming real.

"We've lost everything, our car, our home. It's just hard to deal with," said Whitaker.

"It's going to be a job cleaning it all up," added Havens.

The couple are uninjured, except for a minor scratch on Whitaker, and they say they're relieved their three-year-old and two-year-old were not with them when the house rolled.

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