West Point residents counting their blessings in wake of tornado

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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The category EF-3 tornado that passed through southern Troup County on the morning of March 26 has uprooted many lives. More than a dozen homeowners saw their houses completely destroyed. Others saw their churches and business suffer severe damages.

But for everyone involved it was a frightening experience and a chance to count their blessings despite the loss.

West Point resident Shavonna McFarlin is certainly counting her blessings. She and her husband Adrian were one of many who survived the devastation, though their home was significantly damaged by the storm.

Shavonna said around 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the storm she felt her bedroom shifting, so she began to try to wake her husband to go to a safer spot in their home, but he wouldn’t get up.  She said he later told her he thought he was dreaming.

“As soon as I stepped halfway in the door, that’s when the door blew open, the windows started busting and the roof came off all at the same time,” Shavonna said.

Shavonna said she then ran to the middle part of the house and got into a closet. She said she could hear her husband calling from their bedroom asking if she was OK.

“The house was just moving, everything is busted and everything is falling. It’s just scary. It was raining really hard, raining in the house,” she said.

Shavonna said her husband finally crawled into the closet with her where they remained until everything stopped.

“When we came out and looked at our house, everything had fallen in,” Shavonna said. “It was pitch black dark. I had my phone so we could see a little. We just looked around and praised God, just thanking God that we were alive.”

“We came outside and all the trees had fallen, so we had no way out,” she said.

Shavonna said she and her husband looked for 10 to 15 minutes in the pouring rain just to find a way out, eventually escaping by crawling through a hole in the bushes.

“It was raining, muddy. We started crawling and made it out to the road somehow. We ended up going over and helping the neighbors because they were trapped. After their house blew away, a tree fell on them.” Shavonna said.

Shavonna said the experience was something she would never forget.

“Everything happened right in front of us. Sheetrock fell on my husband twice as he was still fighting his way through,” she said.

Shavonna said they plan to rebuild. Fortunately, they have homeowner’s insurance, she said.

“We’re going to rebuild. We’re going to stay here. I like this area,” Shavonna said. “We’re just going to tear down and rebuild.”

She said in the meantime the couple is staying with her mother until they can figure out what their insurance is going to do.

“It was the scariest day of my life. All I can say is God is good,” she said.