'I don't have anything': Dortches couple survives as tornado reduces home to rubble with them inside

Diane Wilson Image
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Nash County mobile home crushed by tornado
The homeowners survived when the EF-3 tornado reduced their home to rubble. Diane Wilson reports.

DORTCHES, N.C. (WTVD) -- A couple in a mobile home survived a frightening few moments when the EF-3 tornado that roared through Nash County destroyed their home, leaving nothing standing but the front-porch stairs.

It happened Wednesday in a community off N. Halifax Road. The home that Mike Poythress purchased new, just last year, was ripped off the foundation by the howling winds and deposited nearby, leaving appliances, furniture, and vinyl siding strewn in a careless pile.

Poythress said he put his significant other, Deborah Moore, in the bathtub and grabbed Sabot, his dog. They went flying away with the home, the bathtub landing nearly 30 yards away.

"I was holding on to her nightgown, and my dog, and this is the result," Poythress managed to laugh amid the rubble. "We came out of it, but nothing we owned did."

Red Oak firefighters are helping Poythress go through his possessions and try to find items that are salvageable.

Poythress said the hardest part is trying to think about what happens next.

Poythress went to a hospital to get checked out before returning to his property. His significant other, Moore, was "pretty banged up" and remains at a hospital.

Thankfully, she is expected to recover.

"I don't have anything to rebuild with," Poythress said. "This is it. Everything I had, was put into this home. The furnishings, the appliances, the house itself."

WATCH | Neighbor captures moment tornado hit couple's home

The tornado injured multiple people and left widespread damage.

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