Pearl River County family survives Christmas tornado - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pearl River County family survives Christmas tornado

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

This Christmas will go down in the history books as one Doug Manley and his family will never forget.

"I'm extremely thankful and blessed, to be honest with you," ," Manley said. "Christmas Day, you know, the season is about the good Lord. The good Lord blesses us every day. He doesn't give us what we deserve, he gives us what we need."

What Manley says his family needs is to stay together. Thankfully, that's exactly what happened, despite the fact that their 11-year-old home was destroyed on Christmas Day.

"Some of the family was inside, some of the family was outside and nobody had time to move at all. They just felt pressure change. It had gotten extremely dark out the back window. They looked outside and it had gone from dark clouds to one big white cloud. They just hunkered down and waiting it out. They say probably in about 10 seconds the house started to come in," Manley said.

Wednesday, everyone will be better able to access the damage. But even Tuesday night, you could see the seriousness of the storm's impact.

"We've had some moderate to minor injuries. To this point, there have been no deaths reported. Judging from the damage we've witnessed today, it's a miracle that no one was hurt any worse than they were," Pearl River County Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said.

For many of these homeowners, there's a long road of recovery ahead. As Manley and his family searched through the wreckage of their home, there was an eerie calm as a moonlit sky overlooked the night. It was a complete change of pace from the violent winds and rain that swept through the area just hours before that. Still, in the midst of the chaos, Manley is grateful to have salvaged his most valued possession: His family.

"The ribbons and bows and wrapping paper. We seem to be pretty good at that, but that stuff really doesn't matter. The stuff that really matters, we've still got and I'm extremely grateful for it. All this stuff comes and goes," Manley said.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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