Tornado blasts East Memphis, hits Parkway Village apartments

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several people who live in Parkway Village say they’re thankful to be alive Monday after severe storms tore through apartments and homes, taking roofs off and throwing debris.

The Cottonwood Apartments near Perkins and Cottonwood were hit especially hard. Power was out for most of the day, debris scattered everywhere after many were awakened in the middle of the night by heavy winds.

The National Weather Service determined an EF-1 tornado came through the area, ripping a path 1.4 miles w with winds up to 105 mph at 6:38 a.m.

The Red Cross is assisting more than 60 people who have been displaced as a result of the damage to their apartments in this morning’s storm, and there’s an emergency shelter set-up right now at Marian Hale Community Center on  4791 Willow Road in Memphis.

"It woke me up out my sleep,"  resident David Brown said. "I didn’t know it was going to be that bad, but it’s God’s plan on everything. That happened for a reason. I just thank God everybody's safe around here.”

Brown said it’s still hard to see the damage to a place he’s lived his whole life.

“I ain’t never experienced this. This is tragic. It could’ve been me.”

The Cottonwood Apartments in Parkway Village were hit especially hard by Monday's storms.

Trees were on cars, power lines down, windows shattered, water leaking from roofs.

For Abraham Martinez and his family, the storm took off his entire roof while he was sitting on his couch.

“When I wake up everything’s breaking apart," Martinez said. "I barely has a chance to grab my phone, jumped off the couch and went to the restroom and I was screaming for my family. I didn’t know where they were. I was just in the restroom screaming for their name.”

There were five people inside the apartment as heavy winds blew everything around. Martinez says he was most concerned for his little brother.

“I really thank God," he said. "Really thankful because you know luckily I was the only one in the living room. I thank God that we’re alive. Really really thankful.”

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