PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – A violent tornado cut through a neighborhood around 2 a.m. Thursday while people were sleeping; that’s where WATE sent Don Dare to learn more from that community.
‘Get in the hallway’
“I was asleep and she got me and said, ‘You got to get up it’s storming honey.’ About that time, her watch went off, she’s got one of those watches. It said it was approaching quickly, beep beep beep, all through the house. When a storm is moving 60, 70, 90 mph, it don’t take long to get here.”Billy Leet – Storm survivor
Billy Leet spoke with Don Dare about what they did when the tornado hit.
“Well she says, ‘get in the hallway.’ If you look at my room, it’s the only room still standing. Well I got to the door in the hallway and that’s about the time it hit. I hung on to the door jam. A tornado will suck you out of it. She was over by the bed in a cedar chest. She did get stuff all over, this drywall stuff, falling on her, she was hollerin’ for help. I was trying to hold on as soon as it passed, it didn’t take long for it to pass over.”Billy Leet
Leet said that it sounded like a freight train.
Newlyweds’ home blown off foundation
Dare then spoke to Diane Montgomery and her husband Troy. Their house was blown 50 feet off the foundation.
“Well, I had to go to the bathroom around 2 o’clock, coming out of the bathroom I heard this roar just getting louder and louder and then the lightning.
I go to the front door and open it, we got a glass storm door, and it just blew it right in my face. I knew it was a tornado then. I tried to get back to my wife in the bedroom and the wind was trying to suck me out of the house.
I was hanging on the door and sceaming, ‘Diane, Diane,” over the roar of the tornado and she finally woke up.”Troy Brawner – Storm survivor
They then showed Dare a storm shelter behind them, and they said that it didn’t do them any good.
“We couldn’t get to it. No time, no time at all. 45 minutes and it was gone. I don’t ever want to go through this again. This is my first tornado and it’s my last one. I pray to God it’s my last one.”Troy Brawner
Family survives storm in bathtub
The fast-moving tornado tore through the neighborhood and very little was left in its path.
One family was able to survive the storm in a bathroom as the tornado hit.