By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
WREN – Maurice McIntosh has been known to sleep during a storm. Had he done that Wednesday, he may not have awakened to tell about it.
A powerful tornado came through Wren and blew McIntosh’s mobile home across the road, just after he had gotten up and run to a neighbor’s house.
The small Monroe County community was among those hit by powerful storms and tornadoes that swept across the area. While only a few homes in Wren were destroyed, many more lives were affected.
“We will never be the same here,” said McIntosh’s wife, Gloria. “Those sirens will mean something for now on. You know it can happen but don’t think it can happen to you.”
Woken up by the storm
Her husband said a non-stop roar of thunder woke him from an afternoon nap. But instead of rolling over and continuing in his slumber, he fled.
“God told me to get up and get out of the house and that’s what I did,” said McIntosh as he and his family tried to dig through the wreckage to salvage anything useful.
“I ran to my neighbor’s house and before we could close the door it was on us. I’ve never seen anything like that. There were three different funnels and they were ripping up trees and everything.”
At the end of what he called the longest 10 seconds of his life, McIntosh said all that was left was debris and disbelief.
McIntosh had no idea his nephew was in the house at the time of the storm until he heard the boy’s cries more than 200 yards from where the home sat.
“He was under a lot of debris but he crawled out with a lot of scratches but he was fine,” he said. “He was shaken up but at least he was alive. I can replace all of this material stuff.”
Just across the road, the tornado destroyed Rusty Murphree’s home just seconds after McIntosh’s. Luckily, he wasn’t home at the time.
“I was in Aberdeen when someone called and said a storm is coming, you better get home,” said Murphree, standing on the rubble where his home once stood. “Then I got a call that said I didn’t have a home. Devastation is all I can say.”