Fate or Luck? Decisions change lives in McMinn - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fate or Luck? Decisions change lives in McMinn

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(WRCB) - One year later in McMinn County, tree stumps and burn piles riddle the landscape.

Those here consider themselves lucky. They know it could have been worse - only one demolished home, no major injuries. But still, April 27th 2011 was a day they'll never forget.

"The sound of those trees hitting the front of this house, it was the most horrible feeling I've ever been through," Sue Kean said.

Sue and Sidney Kean lost power just before a string of four tornadoes ripped through McMinn County.

They took shelter in a closet as wind uprooted tree after tree and tossed them like toothpicks.

Same story a few blocks away, on County Road 750, where Elvin Housley lives with his wife, who's battling Alzheimer's.

"I knew it was too late to run, I didn't want to upset her, so I just sat, quiet," said Housley.

The storm left a quiet mess, and volunteers helped best they could.

A few miles away, fate likely saved McMinn County corrections officer Jeff Gouin.

Asleep in his family's mobile home while his wife and children were at his in-laws. His wife became sick and was rushed to the hospital.

"She passed out because the pressure in the air dropped so much," Gouin explains. "I got up went to the hospital, and it hit while we were in the hospital."

It crushed the mobile home Jeff would have been sleeping in.

His first thought was find his daughters sleeping blanket.

"I don't know why but that blanket was the most important thing in my head," he said. "I found it, we got it washed for her. For me that made everything alright."

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