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Store owner recalls tale of survival after EF-3 tornado | News

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Store owner recalls tale of survival after EF-3 tornado


(WBIR-Speedwell) An EF-3 tornado hit Claiborne County on Sunday night, destroying 10 homes in the area.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed from the storms. But cleanup is already proving to be a long process.

D & P Grocery, off Old Highway 63 in Speedwell, received the brunt of the storm.

Owner Patsy Pierce lives in the house next door, just 15 feet away.

"Around 6 o'clock, I heard this loud boom so I came to my living room windows. I seen all the debris. So I go back into my room and get some pillows. Just as I came to the living room, the windows came out and the ceiling started coming in," Pierce recalled. "Then, I went to the bathtub in the middle of my house and put two pillows on me and prayed."

RELATED: EF-3 tornado touched down in Claiborne County

When the storm passed, Pierce realized the amount of damage. The store had been a part of the Speedwell community since 1971.

"I thought, 'Everything I own is gone. Everything I've worked for my whole life is gone,'" she said.

The storm produced winds between 140 and 150 miles per hour.

"I said, 'Oh no.' But God's brought me through and I'm still working-- it'll work out," Pierce said.

Friends, family, and volunteers have been helping clean up the debris.

The debris includes a sign, painted by Pierce's granddaughter, that reads, "Just another day in paradise." Pierce used to say that to customers who came inside. She is hopeful she will one day gain back her piece of paradise.


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