Devastating Tornado Brings Stories of Survival

The New York Times reports that while a number of factory-built homes were demolished, the series of tornadoes that swept through North Carolina flattened a Lowe’s home improvement store in Sanford, and knocked down the back wall and tore the roof off of a State Employment Security Commission brick building in Roanoke Rapids.  In Askewville, a pair of group homes for the physically and mentally challenged caught the tornado.  Glen White had ushered residents of one building into a bathroom just before the tornado ripped off the roof, but no one was injured.  As he went outside, he saw the second building had collapsed, and upon hearing cries of “Help!”, he lifted up a wall that had fallen on five other residents.  “I don’t know where I got the strength to do that,” he said. The five were shaken, but not injured, but two other residents did not survive.  One couple who had crouched in the closet of their home’s bedroom were lifted into their backyard 30 feet away, but suffered only minor bruises and cuts.  Their entire house, except the front porch, was shattered and landed in some nearby trees.

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