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Survivor details March 28 tornado experience

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - One of the neighborhoods hit hard from the EF-3 tornado is near the Mall at Turtle Creek.

The neighborhood surrounding Woodfield Street saw severe damage with rooves gone, windows busted, and debris littering the street March 28.

Improvements and progress have been made but you can see the effects six months later.

“I can remember it like it was yesterday when he said, ‘I’m sorry you all, but I don’t think I can cancel it,’” Sharon Gore said.

Her family had Ryan Vaughan and the Region 8 StormTeam on their television warning of the tornado headed their way.

As it inched closer, she had two main worries running through her mind. One, getting her son Preston to safety.

“My son, who is diagnosed autistic, he’s an adult and he’s nonverbal,” she explained. “He was sitting at the table in what we call ‘his chair’ because he likes to sit in the same chair and we couldn’t get him up from the chair because all he knew was, ‘Dinner was ready.’”

She was able to coax Preston from his chair with a sweet treat.

“Thankfully it just came to me to pick up the Oreo mini cookies package and I said, ‘Do you want the cookies?’ and he wanted the cookies more than the dinner,” she said.

As they made their way to a back bedroom, she made two phone calls and asked the family to pray. Then the storm hit.

“The pressure. There was so much pressure in the house. I was holding my head and all I could do was just say, ‘Jesus,’ over and over again. All I could say was, ‘Jesus,’” she said.

She said her sister prayed for her family, but then quickly changed her prayer.

“Her next words were, ‘God, save the City of Jonesboro, save everyone in the city,’” she said.

Gore said then they realized the chaos left behind. One thing stood out, Preston’s chair at the table.

“The one chair he was in was the one chair that was blown out of the back patio and it was out in the yard. It didn’t even break but that was the only chair that was missing from the table is the one he was sitting in,” she said.

To this day, the family still picks up the pieces.

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