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Woman, grandson survived strong twister in the tub

Posted Thursday, Apr. 05, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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FORNEY -- As a twister bore down on her neighborhood, Sherry Enochs grabbed the three young children in her home and hid in her bathtub. The winds swirled and snatched away two of the children. Her home collapsed around her.

But no one was seriously hurt.

Enochs, 53, stood Wednesday amid the wreckage of what was once her home in the Kaufman County city of Forney, among the hardest hit by tornadoes that barreled through one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas a day earlier.

"If you really think about it, the fact that everybody who woke up in Forney yesterday is alive today in Forney, that's a real blessing," Mayor Darren Rozell said.

Seven people were injured in Forney, none seriously. Ten were hurt in Lancaster, in Dallas County.

The twisters jumped from place to place, passing over many heavily populated areas and perhaps limiting what could have been a more damaging, deadly storm system.

National Weather Service crews in Forney, east of Dallas, spotted storm damage that suggested that the twister there was an EF-3, with wind speed as high as 165 mph.

Enochs doesn't have a clear memory of exactly how things happened Tuesday, but she was found holding her grandson in the bathtub, which had blown into the area where her garage once was. A 3-year-old she was watching was found wandering around the back yard. A neighbor pulled another child Enochs had been taking care of, 19-month-old Abigail Jones, from the rubble.

"I heard the rumbling from the tornado and I didn't even hear the house fall," Enochs said.

Abigail was bruised and was taken to the hospital and was released. Her mother, Misty Jones, brought her back Wednesday to see what had happened.

Randy McKeever, his wife and several friends sorted through what was left of their house Wednesday. Their roof was completely gone. The front yard was littered with shingles and pieces of wood. Inside was a jumble of belongings. McKeever, 47, wore work gloves as he tried to find anything that could be salvaged.

"There's a bunch of stuff in there that's not even ours," he said.

In Lancaster, dozens of young children cowered in the safe room of a day care near a local church. The storm pulled one of the walls back "like you were peeling an orange," day care director Danita Harris said.

The students were moved farther indoors and rode out the rest of the storm safely, she said.

"Not one Band-Aid had to be applied," Harris said.

Gov. Rick Perry plans to visit the Lancaster area about 10:30 this morning. An aerial tour is planned, a news release said.

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