After the Storm: The "Bathtub Brothers" 5 years later - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After the Storm: The "Bathtub Brothers" 5 years later

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APISON, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) -

The EF-4 tornado that ripped through Apison destroyed nearly 60 homes in that community.

Three friends, who were roommates, sat in a tub together as the rest of their house was blown away. The bathtub was picked up by the cyclone and flew away from home while the three stayed in it.

"A lot has changed since five years ago, but it's definitely a day I'll never forget," says Terrell Maffett.

Back in 2011, Terrell Maffett just moved into the Apison house. 

READ MORE | After the Storm: Remembering those who passed away

He and his new roommates were watching a ballgame when the weather went south and the lights flickered.

"We walk outside and see me this EF-5 tornado hauling towards us and that's when we realize we have to duck for cover and we may or may not make it,” Maffett says.

Jason Clemons, one of the three roommates, was in the shower.

"They were pounding on the bathroom door telling me to get ready we're leaving my parents lived across the street and had a basement,” Clemons says.

 But it was too late. The trio took cover in the bathtub.

"I hear the house shake; it gets picked up and I got hit in the head with a sink or a toilet one and I was out for the ride,” recalls roommate David Mercer.

The move saved their lives and earned them a nickname.

READ MORE | Men thrown from home in bathtub survive

“You mention that you were in the tornado and they say, ‘oh, are you one of the Bathtub Brothers’ and you kind of give them that smile and nod, yeah, that was me,” says Maffett.

Their survival marked a bit of a turning point for these guys.

"This day rolls around and I still get text from family members telling me they're glad I'm still around,” Mercer says. “It’s just one of those days where you feel even more fortunate to be alive than any of the other days of the year.”

"Back when we were living together, none of us really had a clue what we wanted to do with our lives. But now David's working toward a career where he's at and Terrell's doing ministry, something I think both can be very proud of,” Clemons says.

“Myself, I found a career that I feel like I can be proud of,” adds Clemons, who is now a Chattanooga police officer.

And they're friends forever.

Here's proof: “I guess I’d get my butt kicked if I didn't mention I got married as well,” Clemons says. “Thank you, David. Like I said, they always got my back.”

Today, Terrell is a pastor and has a 3-month-old son. David is in college and working to move up in his career. Jason serves the city of Chattanooga as a police officer.

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