PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Pearl River County man is counting his blessings after his home was hit by what he says felt like a tornado. It happened Thursday night on Sport Fish Lane, near the Pearl River/Stone County line shortly after 9pm.
Robert Mason credits his overstuffed recliner with saving his life. The 81-year-old survived the unexpected encounter with Mother Nature with just a few scratches and bruises.
"It's like being in a head on collision. Really, seriously, it knocks your thoughts out of your mind," explained Mason.
He said he was sitting in his overstuffed recliner watching a movie when he heard what sounded like a freight train.
"There were several downpours of rain then the winds started to pick up, everything started to shake. Then I said, 'Holy smoke!' Just as I said holy smoke, bingo she hit," said Mason.
The Korean War veteran said it was over in a flash. When his mobile home flipped over so did he, with the recliner landing on top of him.
"The walls fell in on me, what protected me from the walls was the chair. So I'm very grateful to that chair," explained Mason.
When it was all over, Mason said he wasn't sure if he was dead or alive. It took him 20 minutes to dig his way out of the debris. He found the roof of his mobile home 200 yards away from the rest of the trailer.
"I'm very, very fortunate. Very fortunate."
Emergency Operations officials say they are not sure if it was a twister or just strong winds that caused the damage to Mason's home. The National Weather Service is heading to the area to investigate.
"It was very isolated, there were some trees in front of it, 100 feet away. Two hundred feet away was a shed, very susceptible to damage, that received no damage," explained Pearl River County EOC Director Danny Manly.
In the meantime, Mason is staying with a friend at another mobile home on the property, just thankful to be alive.
Mason had no insurance on his mobile home. He said it was too old and had too many leaks to be insured. Anyone who can help him recover is asked to contact his neighbor at (601) 796-2000.