Family rides out storm in a hallway
CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A Cleveland family says they survived the tornado, clinging to one another in a hallway. It was ripped from the foundation and dropped yards away.
"We prayed, prayed the whole time I was in the air, screaming out prayers," says Jami Bennett.
Prayers that were answered the night an EF-4 tornado trampled the Bennetts neighborhood and their home on Archer Lane.
"She heard the sound first...and that's when I panicked had him in my arms and ran to the hallway," says Jami's husband, Jason.
Eight month old Nolen had been sleeping in his mother's arms when the storm hit.
"She was crouched down and had Nolen in her arms leaned over and I was facing him," says Jason.
Jami says at one point her son's legs were dangling in the air.
"He was hanging, Nolen I'd lost them both…then I was knocked out I think," says Jami.
Jason and Jami say at some point the roof was ripped away and they could see debris flying. They say it was like it was daylight and they were on a roller coaster.
"I know we were, we talked about it...I know we were in the middle of the tornado," says Jami.
From the middle of the tornado, to the middle of the road, 200 feet away they landed. Crawled out from under a tree and are standing here today. In front of what was once their home.
Jami has a broken leg, stitches, and a few gashes and bruises. One the doctor says came from holding onto her son so tightly.
Jason sports a black eye and staples in his leg.
As for Nolen.
"He actually slept through the whole thing...he slept through it," says Jami.
So someday his parents will tell him the story, with a happy ending. Jamie says there's only one explanation.
"For anybody to say God isn't true, look out here... look at us," says Jami.