Man clings to tree during tornado

Scott Buchanan
May 10, 2011 7:45:56 PM PDT
A Sanford man is sharing his story of survival after clinging to a tree as a tornado passed his home on April 16.

"I just bear hugged this tree, and I put my head against it and wrapped my hands around it and held on," Scott Buchanan explained.

He called it the most terrifying 60 seconds of his life when the April 16 tornado tore through his Lee County neighborhood.

"This is the best one here, from the top of the houses after it happened," Buchanan said.

Several of his neighbors' homes were demolished and many of the trees uprooted or splintered.

Buchanan was working in his yard and said the wind and rain hit fast and hard. He ran to the tree and as he held on, he watched as everything around his started to disintegrate.

"I could see things in the distance, I could see things tearing up away from me," he added. "Close up everything was a blur."

All the trees around his pond were uprooted or splintered except the one he was holding on to and praying. The tree held and Buchanan survived the storm. He thanks God for a miracle.

"Every time I look out here at this tree, it's special, very special," he said. "Like I said, if people have miracles, they had better remember it."

The tree is cracked and there are stress lines down the bark. He hopes to save the tree. His home sustained minor damage.

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