Severe weather caused damage to various states - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Severe weather caused damage to various states

Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

(NBC) - Friday's severe weather is being blamed for six deaths and destroying hundreds of homes.

The half-mile-wide twister that tore through Murfreesboro for 15 miles was caught on tape, packing winds up to 165 miles an hour.

It was a sight Doug Renfro said he had to see even as the tornado roared directly at his house giving him and daughter Stephanie the scare of their lives.

"I went to window to take a look," Renfro said. "I heard all these years it sounded like a railroad but it sounded more like a jet. I tried to get to her then that's about the time it hit."

And it hit hard, turning this into a shattered dream trapping the two for more than an hour.

Saturday, Tennessee's governor toured the devastation where a mother and her nine-week-old baby died, unable to escape to safety.

The destruction stretches across six southern states.

Trees damaged homes in Alabama, hail and heavy rain fell in north Georgia and dozens of homes were destroyed in South Carolina.

In Tennessee, Terry Long and her family barely made it out of their suddenly roofless home.

"The bedroom window glass was starting coming in at us," Long said. "I was pulling on the mattress and the roof started to go. And I ended in a position where I was lying on my back watching the roof be pulled off our house."

In Mena, Arkansas three people were killed.

"You thought your head and your ears were going to explode," tornado survivor Rhonda Newkirk said. "And then you just hear the swirling of debris, and crashing, and popping, and I stood down there just shaking for about five minutes before I could open the door. Because I didn't know what I was going to open the door to."

Back in Murfreesboro, there are no doors left for the Renfros to open, just memories, and each other to hold.

 

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