Puxico family thankful to be alive after deadly tornado - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Puxico family thankful to be alive after deadly tornado

Posted: Updated:
PUXICO, MO (KFVS) -

By Holly Brantley

STODDARD CO, MO (KFVS) - It was a powerful and deadly storm, one that ripped apart homes and lives in Stoddard County. Yet, in the wake of it all, there is hope and families thankful to be alive.

Families, like the Tanners: "It sounded like ten trains," said husband and father, Rusty Tanner. "I got my family up and as I grabbed the basement door, it came apart in my hand," he recalls.

"It just blew us apart," said his wife, Stacey Tanner. "Rusty and our oldest daughter and little boy ended up on one side. Me and the baby ended up on the other. I was holding our four month old in my arms. I could feel things flying around us."

Sunday afternoon they met with us, bruised and banged up, but alive.

"God was there," said Stacey.

"I was just thinking I hope I live," said Rusty.

Rusty says he was sound asleep until seconds before the twister hit the family's two story home near Puxico. He says he woke up his wife and kids and made a run for the basement. They never made it there.

"There are parts I don't remember, but a lot if it I do," said Rusty.

Rusty says he reached for the basement door as the storm reached their home, shredding it. The family says they were thrown into two different directions on their property: Rusty, one year old Mayson, and 8 year old Macey on one side, Stacey and four month old Skylar to the other.

"I stood up and tried to grab my little boy but my arm was broken," said Rusty. "I saw my daughter running across the yard. We made it to the car and we started driving and looking for my wife and our baby."

Somehow the five of them found each other. Stacey ended up driving the family out of the storm's wrath to the hospital.

"I was just praying for daylight," said Stacey.

Besides plenty of scratches, Rusty suffered a broken arm, so did 8 year old Macey. Stacey's two ankles are cracked, little Mayson has staples in his forehead, and baby Skylar who survived in her mother's arms, has nothing but a couple of bruises near her feet.

All are alive and well, and for the Tanner's they say that's all that matters.

"That's all we are thankful for," said Rusty. "My wife and kids are alive. That's everything."

The family wants to thank everyone who's reached out to help them.

Meanwhile the community is rallying. You can donate to the Tanner relief fund at the Bank of Advance with locations in Dexter, Advance, and Bell City.

We are also learning more about the storm that hit Stoddard County on Wednesday.
According to the National Weather Service, the twister was an EF3, with peak winds of 140 miles per hour.

Emergency Management Director Kent Polsgrove tells Heartland News he hopes to hear from FEMA teams who survey damage quickly

He says this storm has his office and first responders considering some changes to procedures, including when to sound storm sirens. 

He says they did not set the one off near Puxico Wednesday because the twister was never spotted.  However, he says in discussions at night it's next to impossible to spot a tornado, so they are considering another form of protocol.

It is important to note, Polsgrove and those who live in the affected area north east of town say that siren's sound never would have reached them because they are too far away.


Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow