How the Amherst County tornado felt from a child's perspective

Published: Apr. 24, 2018 at 12:00 AM EDT
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The Cooper home on Deerfield Drive has the perfect lawn for a game of tag. Just ask Zac Cooper, Millie and Eliza Fink. Monday afternoon they were running around giggling, "Millie's it."

But nothing about their game of tag was normal. They were now saying things like "watch out for the glass" and "don't step on the insulation".

"It's not pretty," said Cooper.

Last Sunday night the Cooper house was destroyed by the EF-3 tornado. Half of it is gone and the other half is in bad condition.

The Finks live a block away. All that is left of their home is the foundation.

"It looks horrible," said Millie who is six years old.

Zac and Eliza are seven years old and are best friends. All three of the kids play often and attend Elon Elementary school. They now have a new bond: surviving a tornado.

Each child told WDBJ7 their story.

Zac recounts his mom closing the front door because the wind was getting stronger. Seconds later he says the tornado came through and his mom was hovering over to protect him. Then he says the back door blew in.

"They had to put up this big piece of paper," said Zac, showing us the gaping hole where his door used to be.

Millie and Eliza said they were taken to their basement and their parents put them behind a door. The family huddled together as the tornado came through. Millie said she started getting shocked as the water touched live wires. Eliza said her bed was standing straight up.

"I was like, where's our house?" said Eliza.

The kids gathered outside the Cooper's broken home Monday afternoon. They made discoveries.

"What's that?" asked Eliza.

"A piece of my mommy's jewelry," said Zac.

Zac gave the girls a tour of his house. He showed them a printer that was thrown outside, a hole where the guest bedroom used to be and what is left of his own bedroom.

Through out the tour the kids giggled. They would laugh over the absurdity of what they were seeing. In between laughter Zac asked Eliza if she is scared it will happen again.

"Yea," she said.

They kept on going with the tour.

The kids are apt to move on and play outside, but they do understand the severity of the situation.

"At least I got my family back. At least no one died," said Millie.

Zac made a sign outside. It reads, "I'm sad, I love you. Best house. Zac, mom and dad."

While they miss their homes, they know they have friends and family and they will rebuild.

"We can live happily ever after," said Zac.

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