Family flees home just before it’s destroyed


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Samantha Thornburg, her fiancé Jason Stover, Jr., and their two-month-old son got out of their house just in time. They were renting a home from Eric Luster on Fisher-Dangler Road, west of Greenville, when a tornado touched down destroying the home they were living in.

Social media, family members and weather alerts brought the seriousness of the storms rolling through Darke County to Thornburg’s attention. She and her family decided go someplace that seemed a little safer. They chose to go to her parents’ house that was four miles away on State Route 49. She knew they could ride out the storm from there in the basement.

While they were getting in the vehicle, Thornburg recalls hearing a gush of wind and now believes it was the tornado.

They made it safely to her parents’ house, but it wasn’t long before they got a phone call. Thornburg said, “As soon as the tornado had passed, our neighbor, April, called to check on us. This is when we found out the tornado went through our home.” The moments after the phone call were anxious ones for Thornburg and her family. “The feeling of not knowing if our home was still standing or destroyed into a million pieces had filled us with anxiety and sadness,” she said.

After the storm passed, Thornburg said they rushed to their home to see if anything could be saved. “When we saw our home, we were in pure shock and could feel the color drain from our bodies. We are so thankful that three-fourths of our stuff could saved. The garage, porch, and parts of the roof were ripped from our home. The bay window was shattered and the house was flooding from the rain. We lost almost everything in our living room, some stuff in the kitchen and everything from the garage. Luckily, the items from our room and our 2-month-old son’s room were barely touched but could be fixed up with a good wash.”

Once things began to settle down, Thornburg said she began to reflect about the evening and began thinking about the “what ifs.” She said, “What if we didn’t leave in time or what if we left our dog there; what would’ve happened to us? People prepare and hide from tornadoes, but they never think it is going to hit their own house. I feel like everyone is always in disbelief until it actually happens.” Thornburg explained, “We knew the tornado was coming but never processed that it would hit our home. It is so overwhelming but again we are thankful for the stuff that did survive because there are many others that lost absolutely everything.”

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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