Family of nine rides out tornado in a closet - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family of nine rides out tornado in a closet

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SHILOH, JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WRCB) -- A North Alabama family of nine, saw the storm coming and they had to think quick.

The room they decided to take shelter in saved their lives.

"And this right here is where we were," says Lora Poore.

A killer tornado was bearing down on Shiloh, Alabama in Jackson County

Lora Poore, her husband, their three children, her parents, an aunt and an uncle had to make a decision. Their move to this closet likely meant the difference between life and death.

"I hollered, "Oh God, its coming," says Lora's husband, Tim.

"And I'd seen it as well," adds Lora. "Daddy said where do we go?"  I said, your closet, it's the only center room, you know?"

All nine rode out the storm in the only structure left standing. 

The cabin her father had completed in 1984, was destroyed.

"This was the only room left that had a ceiling on it," says Lora.

All around them, the landscape was being radically changed.  Houses leveled.  Trees uprooted, broken, or both.  Mobile homes obliterated and with them, lives were being taken.

"We're praying, everyone of us.  Even the kids was praying. I mean we were all praying ‘Lord protect us, have his hand on us, watch over us, keep us safe," says Lora.

Within seconds, it was over.

"When we walked out of the door, you know, we just saw sky and rafters. And we was just like oh my goodness. When we walked out everything else was just demolished.  It was horrible," says Lora.

But they were alive.

"You know, Mother and Daddy, they've worked their whole lives to have what they have and you know, about 10 or 15 seconds, you know, it's gone.  But, you know, you can't replace a life.  But these material things you can replace.  And you just keep on. That's exactly what the community and the helpers down there are working together to help everybody," says Lora.

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