Three members of same family lose homes in tornado

Three members of one family in Elmore County all lost homes in the tornado.  Jesse Sides is one of them.  He's a former FEMA employee, who never expected he would need assistance.

"I heard some big booms, I thought it was thunder, but it was a tornado going through out on the hill," Sides said.

Sides ran into the hall closet, where his wife had been taking shelter from the storm.

"We didn't know that the roof going off, it lasted for like five seconds," he said.  "And then I felt air coming onto the door from the other room, and I told my wife.  We're in trouble."

When they left the closet, they found their home damaged, and large trees down all over the yard.   Then he heard screams from the area where his sister lived.  The tornado had destroyed their house.

"We got to looking and found her and her husband under a bunch of rubble down under the hill," Sides said.  "It was lucky they in a pocket and all the stuff was all on top of them, but they weren't hurt."

Sides' nephew also lost his home in the storm.  Sides was in Miami for FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.  He said the damage in Elmore County is just as devastating.

'You can't look at pictures and tell.  I didn't know till I got down there.  And when you drive from Miami to Homestead.  It was about like over there like on Middle Road."

Sides feels fortunate.   Even though three members of his family saw their homes destroyed, they all made it out alive.

"I mean all I can think it's the Lord's handiwork," Sides said.  "There's nothing I can do about it.  It's his business, and we can do is accept it.  Pray and accept it."

Sides will be moving into a camper for the next few months until his home is rebuilt.  Despite the damage, their furniture is mostly intact.  He's grateful for the outpouring of help and support from the community.  Without that, he said, things would be a lot to harder to take.

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