‘I started to pray:’ Colquitt County tornado survivor describes living through storm

Courtesy: WALB
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By: Bobby Poitevint | WALB
April 15, 2019

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) -- One family pulled together to clean up after their home of 11 years was destroyed by a tornado.

The National Weather Service confirms that the tornado touched down in Colquitt County on Sunday afternoon. The tornado developed southeast of Moultrie and continued into northeastern Colquitt County.

Several residents living on Tallokas Road experienced the storms firsthand. Maria Chavez and her husband live in one of the homes impacted on Sunday.

“This happened like 15-20 seconds and when I’m standing up I check outside and I see my house is destroyed. All of my house is destroyed,” said Chavez.

She said it was quiet and then describes the sound of a whistle. Chavez remembers looking through her windows and seeing a sight that she will never forget.

“Window just right there, is when I saw all white and I saw a lot of wind. I don’t have a good visibility outside and my house starts shaking, that’s when I run looking for refuge. Something bad is gonna happen,” she said.

Chavez took cover in a stairwell and said, “I started to pray.”

She gave WALB News 10 a tour through some of the damaged parts of her home.

Her grandchildren’s rooms were impacted the most.

“My grandchildren’s bedroom when they come to visit me during the weekends is totally destroyed," she said.

Chavez is thankful she and her family survived with no injuries but will forever remember how her home for 11 years gave her shelter and protection from one of nature's most powerful creations.

“I notice I’m in the middle of tornado or something like that. I’m pretty scared,” she added.

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