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Parents recall shielding children as tornado took down their home

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Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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DAWSON SPRINGS, KY. (WFIE) - By now you’ve seen the images and video of Friday night’s deadly tornados.

But the chilling stories from survivors will never get easier to tell.

Jessica Costello sat down with one Dawson Springs family who recalls the night they lost everything.

“It was a couple of miles away we thought we had a few more minutes when everything just fell. It was all gone,” Alexis Dunlap, a mom of three who survived the deadly tornado said.

A mattress, some blankets, and a few boxes.

You could call it a survival kit against a nearly 200 mile per hour killer.

“I had Jeremy grab some boxes of diapers to put on our hallway wall to hold the mattress up,” Dunlap said.

Alexis and Jeremy huddled in their hallway with their three young boys.

But as quickly as the tornado barreled through town, darkness quickly took over.

“I didn’t know what was on me. I couldn’t tell what. All I did was look around and nothing was there,” Jeremy Corrao, Alexis’ husband said.

A ‘familiar’ weight crushing his body, pinning his family against the ground.

“Then she told me the house is on you! I just didn’t know what to do at that point,” Corrao said.

The weight of their entire lives on his back.

“I ended up getting pelted in the back with a brick. My five-year-old was pinned with the same brick and broke his arm. The bathtub behind me hit me in the back. I had a tree limb go through my arm that the brick fell on top of so I was pinned under it,” Dunlap said.

In 15 seconds’ time, a destructive beast took everything from this family.

“Even now I feel like the worst mother in the world for not being able to keep them safe,” Dunlap said.

And from a mom who was doing her very best to protect her kids, right back into the darkness.

“Everything in there is gone. Their beds their toys. We don’t know where any of it is. I know if we hadn’t gotten them out, we wouldn’t know where our kids are either. I don’t think that makes me feel any better,” Dunlap said.

It’s a helpless feeling.

Especially after losing one of their dogs.

“She was my favorite dog. She was my favorite dog. My favorite dog,” 5-year-old Colton Corrao said.

“It was bad. It was bad. I don’t know how we’re still here,” Jeremy said.

Now, it’s time to start over.

Holding onto their memories now covered in dust, forever reminding this family of a horrific night.

“This right here just showed us you never know when your last second will be,” Dunlap said.

Alexis and Jeremy’s 4-year-old son Noah suffered a severe concussion but is doing alright now.

Their nearly 2-year-old son Jasper is also alright.

The family continues to rebuild from scratch. There is a GoFundMe account.

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