Granville County residents recount tornado terror

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Granville County residents recount a terrifying experience.

Pam McWilliams took ABC11 on a tour of what's left of her home.

"When you look at this, it's not real," McWilliams said.

But it was all too real on Huntsboro Road in Oxford.

"This was the front porch, the wall stood right there," McWilliams said, walking through the mangled home.

The front door was torn off and tossed 500 feet into a field. The living-room wall now rests on the sofa where McWilliams' husband, Rick, usually rests.

Rick has a serious hearing problem so Pam did the talking. She said as fate would have it, Rick left the house minutes before the tornado struck. It may have been a life-saving run to Wal-Mart for dog food.

"With his hearing problem he never would've heard (the tornado) coming, so I thank God that God told him to go get dog treats," McWilliams said.

Seven houses along Huntsboro Road were destroyed. A cattle farm was ripped apart and the nearby dairy farm as well. That's where Thomas Marrow was milking cows when the skies got dark and the wind started swirling. Marrow headed for the basement.

A Granville County farm was destroyed by the tornado Wednesday.

"Got as many animals and children in there. It was pretty terrifying," Marrow said.

Down the road, Dale Harrison took cover in her hallway. She called it a terrifying few seconds that seemed to last forever.

"Very scary, felt like the whole house was shaking. It sounded like a great big train coming through," Harrison said.

The extensive damage glowed in the moonlight. But the residents in this tight-knit community right up to the county sheriff were counting their blessings.

"It's amazing no was hurt with all the damage we had," said Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins.

Wilkins' deputies locked down the affected area to protect and secure the homes.

Back at the McWilliams' house, a small miracle amid all the damage: At one point, all five of Rick's prized Pomeranians were missing after the tornado hit.

After an hours-long search, all five dogs were found safe and sound, including one dog which had to be cut out and rescued from underneath the crushed home by firefighters.

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