Tornado survivors share their amazing stories

By Jerrika Insco | 

The aftermath of this EF-2 tornado is something you can only explain with pictures.

In East Bernstadt, one of the hardest hit areas, people are thankful to be alive picking up what is left after a tornado picked up homes leaving behind only rubble.

It came and went fast tearing up homes and breaking hearts.

Despite the odds, several people lived to tell their amazing stories.

"I couldn't get the door open. It just slammed back on me and kind of knocked me down. That's when the trailer started spinning and it spun fast. It didn't seem like the ride lasted two seconds until stopped, and I woke up on the ground," said Terry Fields, who survived the tornado.

One man can even say he is a hero rescuing his girlfriend who was trapped under what once was her home.

"It seemed like it was 10 minutes that I hollered for her, and I finally heard her answer me, so I crawled under the trailer and I started digging through stuff, and I found her pinned," said Michael Parker, who saved his girlfriend.

"I'm pretty sore and can't hardly move, but other than that, I'm glad I'm alive," said April Holt, who survived the tornado with minor injuries.

Those affected still have high spirits even after moments of pure panic and heartache.

"It didn't turn out to be too bad of a week after all I guess," said Fields.

And because they survived their stories will live on.

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Although there are several sad stories of loss and death, many people also have amazing stories of survival in East Bernstadt.

Some people say they were saved by the grace of God when an EF-2 tornado turned their lives upside down.

"They've lost their home, but they're fortunate to have their lives," said Betty Elkins, who survived the tornado.

One of the best places to be during severe weather is the inner most section of your home.

But when a tornado literally lifts your home off the ground, all you can do is pray.

"They hadn't been in there two minutes when the winds came and they felt the trailer being picked up and the last thing that they remember is being set down," said Elkins.

That mobile home landed on a semi truck turning it over and splitting their home in half.

"The backside caught onto this semi truck and held part of the trailer where it's now sitting while the rest of it come over and landed where you see it at," said Elkins.

They say that truck amazingly saved their lives. Only three more feet to the right, it could have been a different story.

"The bathtub was dangling over her and another niece was in there also and my brother was somewhere up behind the tub," said Elkins.

Their story of survival, along with others, are testaments to how close many people came to losing much more than their homes.

Five people died in Laurel County. The coroner says they are Sherman and Debbie Allen, Wilburn and Virginia Pitman, and Ethel Pruitt. They all lived in East Bernstadt.

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