Video: 96-year-old grandmother from Miss. shares tornado experience

Photo Credit: WJTV

NEWTON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A storm system brought a reported half-dozen tornadoes through stretches of Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, leaving some residents scrambling for cover.

“The tornado hit us while we were in our truck,” said Mike Dearing, of Newton County, Mississippi. He said it was the second time he’s been caught by a possible tornado while driving to his storm shelter.

“(I) looked up and saw the white rain. I told my wife it was fixing to hit,” Dearing said. “We got in our truck with our grandson coming to our storm pit. As luck would have it, we never made it to the storm pit. The tornado actually picked us up and turned us before the limb hit us.”

He wasn’t the only one in the neighborhood riding out the storm. Not even a mile down the road, Ruby Kennedy was bracing herself for the worst.

“I went to shut my back door and it blew it away, and all this happened,” said Kennedy while sitting propped in the doorway of her home. “It was over so quick.”

Kennedy recently celebrated her 96th birthday. She’s missing some shingles from her home and trees were covering her yard.

“The only tree we didn’t want, it didn’t touch,” Kennedy said with a laugh, as a walnut tree still stands in her yard surrounded by downed pecans.

Because no one was hurt, Kennedy and Dearing are able to laugh and smile.

“Well the fact is we only lost material things. It makes you feel real blessed. There’s nothing here that can’t be replaced. We don’t have a scratch on us, we’re not hurt. We just have a lot of work to do,” Dearing said.

Now, it’s time for recovery. Not even an hour after the storm it, neighbors from all around were helping Kennedy repair her home; a priceless birthday present.

“I just have wonderful neighbors and friends and they’ve always been good to me,” Kennedy says as she began to tear up.

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