BREAKING NEWS : Woman dies after motorcycle collides with car Full Story

Tornado survivor says she missed the onslaught 'by minutes.' Not 'one chance' we would have survived

Article Image

In an interview with CNN's John Berman, Jessica Chandler talks about she and her children narrowly avoiding the tornado that tore through their Alabama home, injuring her boyfriend.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 3:50 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2019 3:50 PM

Jessica Chandler and her four children weren't home when a tornado tore through their Alabama neighborhood on Sunday and destroyed their house.

She was at a grocery store buying baby formula for her youngest child, a 4-month-old, and missed the onslaught "by minutes."

An aerial view of her home before and after the storm shows the devastation.

Her house is "completely gone," Chandler told CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday. "Our house is not there anymore. It's far away from where it used to be.

"Thank God I was not there with my children," she said. "I don't think there's one chance me and my kids would have survived that."

The deadly tornadoes that tore through Lee County and other parts of the state on Sunday killed 23 people and injured dozens more.

Chandler's boyfriend was at the house, she said, and got caught in the tornado's fury.

He saw the front porch fly up and he dove for a couch. He "held on to the couch for dear life," and then he flew up in the air.

"When he landed, he landed on a tree," Chandler said.

"He immediately got up with the adrenaline rush and ran to find his parents who were in the home next door to us. They had just enough time to dive inside of their bathtub and he was able to somewhat unbury them. He was able to flag down a truck and some guys helped him get all the stuff off of his parents so they could get them out safe," Chandler said.

"He's pretty banged up. Really sore. He said that he heard some loud noises. He didn't even know that there was bad weather in the area. I didn't know, either," she said.

Chandler said her boyfriend was treated and released from a hospital.

What now for her and her family? She said a lot of people in the community are donating clothes and food. The family is in a hotel and her mother started a GoFundMe site to help them out.

"My mom told me there was supposed to be bad thunderstorms, possible tornadoes. But I mean, we hear that quite often whenever it rains bad down here," she said. "I had no clue what was coming. No clue. I didn't hear sirens or anything," she said.

"Many people don't watch cable anymore. They watch Netflix," Chandler added. "We didn't know."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30901

Reported Deaths: 1964
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9040531
Lake3191167
Cass15796
Allen121365
St. Joseph113234
Hendricks110365
Hamilton109291
Johnson1065102
Elkhart93827
Madison57658
Bartholomew46733
Porter46521
Clark45038
LaPorte38721
Tippecanoe3563
Jackson3531
Howard34417
Delaware34027
Hancock31527
Shelby31121
Floyd31138
Boone27935
Morgan25724
Vanderburgh2402
Decatur22131
White2128
Montgomery21114
Clinton2041
Harrison18321
Grant17820
Noble17420
Dubois1712
Greene16723
Warrick16326
Dearborn16221
Monroe15810
Henry1556
Lawrence14222
Miami1351
Vigo1357
Putnam1297
Jennings1264
Orange12222
Scott1153
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll882
Daviess8116
Steuben762
Newton7210
Wabash722
Kosciusko711
Wayne665
Marshall611
LaGrange592
Washington521
Jasper521
Fayette504
Fulton461
Rush452
Jefferson411
Jay410
Clay381
Pulaski380
Randolph373
Whitley342
Brown331
Sullivan311
Starke303
Owen301
DeKalb281
Knox240
Benton240
Crawford230
Perry230
Huntington222
Tipton221
Wells220
Switzerland190
Blackford191
Fountain172
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer141
Gibson132
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Martin100
Union80
Vermillion80
Pike50
Unassigned0152

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31408

Reported Deaths: 1956
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5097224
Cuyahoga3851207
Marion260821
Hamilton2349128
Lucas2087228
Pickaway203835
Mahoning1317169
Summit1204159
Butler75025
Stark67089
Lorain63759
Montgomery57814
Trumbull51442
Columbiana47750
Belmont38112
Miami34630
Warren31919
Portage30958
Tuscarawas3062
Delaware29211
Ashtabula27431
Medina27419
Wood26945
Lake26312
Geauga25029
Wayne24850
Fairfield2333
Licking20110
Clark1956
Allen18431
Richland1793
Mercer1783
Clermont1775
Darke14716
Erie1374
Madison1327
Washington11618
Morrow1041
Crawford1043
Greene925
Ottawa877
Putnam8514
Monroe719
Sandusky6510
Hocking643
Ross622
Jefferson622
Auglaize583
Williams511
Huron491
Hancock481
Muskingum440
Clinton430
Union420
Hardin380
Logan380
Shelby372
Wyandot362
Fulton350
Fayette340
Defiance322
Preble301
Guernsey300
Carroll282
Lawrence280
Champaign261
Brown241
Coshocton240
Knox231
Holmes221
Vinton190
Highland181
Perry171
Seneca172
Ashland170
Henry140
Scioto140
Athens131
Paulding130
Jackson110
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Meigs60
Pike60
Noble50
Morgan50
Van Wert50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 86°
Angola
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Huntington
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Decatur
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Van Wert
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Few PM Storms Memorial Day
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events