Man grateful to be alive after tornado tears through home

NOW: Man grateful to be alive after tornado tears through home

AKRON, Ind. – 

One man says he’s thankful to be alive after he had only seconds to take cover as a tornado tore through his home. 

“It’s one of those things I’ve never experienced in my entire life,” said BJ Hunt, who has lived in the home with his family for about two and a half years. During that time he’s worked to remodel various parts of it, including the basement, which is now partially flooded.

“I’ve put a lot of work into this place, and to see it all gone is kind of heartbreaking,” he said.

Now he will be forced to rebuild after a tornado went right through his home on Memorial Day.

“Today is try to find what we can to keep, go through what’s salvageable,” he said. “Then after that it’s rebuild.”

Hunt was home alone with his dogs when the tornado hit. He says he saw it out his front door and barely had time to make it down the stairs into his basement.

“I was hiding back there,” he said, pointing underneath his basement staircase. “Grabbed ahold of that furnace just hugging the furnace. I had stuff hitting me in the face. All of this that you see just pelted you in the face.” 

Taking debris to the face only lasted about 15 seconds according to Hunt. But he says in that time he felt the wind pulling him upward. 

“I came out and it was still raining of course. I looked around and thought well, 15 seconds I had a house, now no more,” he said.

The storm damaged his home, flipped his truck, ripped off the siding on his shed and stripped multiple trees around his home.

“You can rebuild a house, rebuild a shop, rebuild all kinds of stuff but the trees is pretty much going to be a reminder from years from here on out it’s going to be a reminder,” said Hunt.

He says within 45 minutes he had neighbors checking on him to make sure he was ok. Hunt also had friends, neighbors and strangers show up Tuesday to help him clean up and rebuild.

Share this article: