By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
MCMINN COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- "We were praying because we knew God was going to take care of us."
That's what Peggy Martin was thinking while a tornado struck her home in McMinn County last Wednesday night. She And her husband, Stan, built their home together in the Piney Grove community 28 years ago.
Once Peggy knew the tornado was on its way, she headed for the basement. Stan and their dog, Nebo, soon followed.
"By the time he hit the landing coming down our steps, we started hearing the windows popping and the roof was tearing off," said Peggy.
After a few minutes, the Martins went to investigate and couldn't believe what they saw.
"I went up the steps," explained Peggy. "Then once I opened the basement door I could see the house was just pretty much totally gone."
The house was swept away in a matter of seconds, but thankfully they weren't injured.
"Just some dirt in our hair, that's about it," said Peggy.
They're staying with their daughter just around the corner while they clean up the mess the storm left behind. But the Martins have had plenty of help from neighbors and even strangers from other communities.
"People from Englewood, Etowah, Athens, and even way out in Meigs county," said Peggy with appreciation. "We've had some churches out through there that have come and helped us out. We've been very blessed."
And the Martins do plan to rebuild.
"Figure the way it looks now, if we built it once we can build it again," said Stan.
They also believe their lives were spared that night, not just because of their basement, but because of a higher power.
"It's only because the Lord wanted us to stay here a little while longer," explained Peggy. "We have some work to do here; we do know that."