Deadly Tornado Rips Apart Homes and Lives - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Massac Co., IL

Deadly Tornado Rips Apart Homes and Lives

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Deadly Tornado Rips Homes and Lives Apart
By: Arnold Wyrick

(Massac  Co., IL)--Just after 9pm folks living along Boaz Road in Massac County were settling in for the night. But their relaxed evening quickly turned into one of survival.

"It sounded like a train coming back through the hills there," says Truman Neeley. Neeley and his two boys were in their mobile home when he says it started raining real hard. " And the windows started exploding, and I said let's get under the reinforced arch in the hallway. It let up for a moment and then the house tilted. I was knocked out for about 30 seconds and when I came too, I was laying underneath the mattress in the ditch," Neeley said.

He was scratched and heavily bruised across his forehead and back. His neighbors across the street rode out the storm in their home. "They got into the bathtub, my grandson on the bottom, my daughter on top of him, and my son-in-law on top of her. The storm lifted the house off the footers and basically took it 1500' and shoved it into the lake," said Harvey Parker.

The roof was the only thing left of the families home. Around the corner from the Beck's on Rolling Hill Road George Lewis and his wife clung to each other as their home was being ripped apart. " It woke me up and the floor was coming up about 10 inches and then it would crash down. The windows were blowing out, and I knew it wasn't good. I thought it was going to kill us," Lewis said.

Across the street from the Lewis's their neighbor 65 year old Mariam Houchins didn't survive. They found her laying in a small pond amongst the debris of her home. "She loved dogs, she had four or five of them. That might've been what got her, was she came out to check on those dogs, and it blew her down into that pond," said Lewis.

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