25 years since tornado killed two in Raleigh

Thanksgiving is a grim anniversary for one Triangle neighborhood
November 28, 2013 3:40:52 PM PST
Twenty five years ago Thursday, a deadly tornado roared through Raleigh killing two children. Four people were killed statewide on November 28, 1988.

The Pleasant Valley Road area off Glenwood Avenue took a hard hit that night. A 9-year-old child died in the Hampton Oaks neighborhood.

Resident Larry Horton says he still can't bring himself to look at pictures or video from that day.

"You seen stories about tornados and everything, but we were just hoping to survive, he recalled.

Hampton Oaks looks vastly differently today than it did exactly 25 years ago. An F-4 tornado ripped through - turning pristine streets into roads of rumble.

Horton said the 9 year old died when a chimney collapsed and the debris crushed her.

"She went to Lynn Road School, and my kids went to Lynn Road School, so it was tough for the kids there too to lose someone. It was really devastating," said Horton.

People still carry around stories of survival.

"The house picked up, and torqued, and sat back down," recalled Susan Tenney.

Her son was sleeping in bed when a wall crashed down. When she and her husband went into his room, there were shards of glass piercing the bed around him.

"Why he wasn't hurt, I don't know," said Tenney.

Folks saw entire sides of homes ripped off - resembling a dollhouse. Neighbors were climbing downed trees in order to get out of their homes.

"One couple had an infant, and they had just gotten out of the room with their baby, and one of the walls blew out where the crib was," said Horton.

All these years later, survivors feel they have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. It was a miracle more people weren't killed and there were many close calls.

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