COVINGTON, Tenn. — The Blankenship home is down to one standing wall, their cars tossed around like toys after a tornado that blew threw Covington, TN on Friday night destroyed their home and a large part of the town.
“We were looking out across that field and my husband said go now. I looked up and you can see it looked like it was probably a mile wide,” Teresa Blankenship said.
She says, thanks to an idea 15 years ago to build a storm shelter, her family is still alive.
“When we got in the storm shelter and it was just a lot of noise, a lot of noise, a lot of trash you can hear hitting the top of it. It was scary,” Blankenship said.
A mile away on Junior Drive, it looks like a war zone. Marsha Holland’s home took a direct hit from the storms. Saturday morning, there was nothing was left but the foundation.
“I got a call from my neighbor, and she told me my house was gone,” Holland said.
She says when she could finally see where her home once stood, she felt blessed.
“We were glad to be alive. We were glad that the Lord had us in a different area so we didn’t get his by this storm,” Holland said.
Down the street, Ian Stinson rode out the storm with his girlfriend and dog.
“Went into the guest bathroom and about 5 minutes later we are sitting in the tub and just a big whoosh of air came from underneath the doorway, insulation was blown everywhere,” Stinson said.
When it was all over, half of the roof of his home was gone. In all, 28 people were injured and at least one person died in Tipton County as a result of the storms.
“The house got completely destroyed and when the other few that were there came to their sense, this gentleman was probably 100 yards or so away from them,” Tipton County Sheriff Shannon Beasley said.
Two schools also saw significant damage, causing the Tipton County Superintendent to cancel classes all next week.
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“Crestview elementary and Crestview middle students will not report to school next week,” Dr. John Combs, Tipton County Superintendent said.