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STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
The National Weather Service in Mobile confirmed that an EF-1 tornado
touched down in Stone County Sunday afternoon. The twister tore through
one home and damaged three other houses in McHenry.
destroyed home on Pine Avenue belongs to the Bardwell family. The family
of four hid in a closet as the tornado roared overhead.
"People said when they saw the roof go, they saw the debris go up into the tornado," said Brice Bardwell of McHenry.
at the ruins of his house Monday, it's amazing how Bardwell and his
family narrowly escaped the tornado's wrath. Around 4:00 Sunday
afternoon, Bardwell was watching the Saints game in the living room.
His wife and one-year-old son were in a bedroom.
"We heard the
winds pick up. I went to the front door and I went to look out and I
couldn't open the door. I see stuff start flying," said Bardwell.
They quickly ran into the master bedroom, where his four-year-old daughter was taking a nap.
grabbed her and as I was running into the closet, I heard the glass
start breaking and my ears started popping. I felt the pressure you know
as soon as I got in and shut the door," said Bardwell. "It just sounded
like a train running right over your house and you heard just boards
flying, kind of like an explosion when the roof took off."
Bardwell said his immediate thoughts were on his family's safety.
just asked God please let me and my little girl get in there and get
the door shut," he said. "I never got time to get scared. It happened so
fast and after it was all over was when my wife really started
And when they opened the closet door, they were
shocked at what had happened to their three-year-old house. The torn-up
roof allowed rain water and soaked insulation to come pouring down.
"I was just amazed of the damage that happened so fast you know. In 30 seconds, everything was destroyed," said Bardwell.
debris was scattered throughout the yard. Some pieces of his house
even landed in other people's yards about a mile away. One oak tree
looked twisted, while several others were snapped in half. Bardwell
said it's a miracle all four of them made it out alive.
"We survived without a scratch and that's just a blessing from God and that's the only thing that matters," he said.
As he looked at his house, Bardwell said, "This is all materials. It can be rebuilt."
American Red Cross helped the Bardwells with temporary lodging at a
Wiggins hotel. The family does have insurance and they plan to rebuild.
Friends and even strangers have been dropping by the house to offer them
a place to stay.
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