Tree splits Mississippi family’s home in half during storm: ‘It sounded like a bomb went off’

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Marion County woman says her family is lucky to be alive after a tree fell through their house over the weekend, splitting it in two.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Sue Simmons of Columbia told WDAM-TV. Simmons was at home with her son at the time.

Areas of Marion County experienced winds up to 70 mph (112.6 kph) when severe weather swept through Friday and early Saturday morning. An EF-1 tornado touched down in Marion County and traveled for 7.77 miles (12.5 kilometers) on the ground, according to the National Weather Service.

Simmons told the television station that she was watching weather coverage on WDAM when she got an alert that the storm was moving over Columbia. She woke up her son, who was sleeping in his room, and told him to get into a closet with her.

Ten minutes later, the tree fell. When they left the closet, they could barely believe what they saw.

“There was water pouring everywhere, there was a tree in the middle of the hall and all I could think is get out and that’s what we did,” Simmons told WDAM. “And then, of course, the emotions start coming, but really and truly we’re just thankful that we’re OK.”

The Simmons are staying with family in the area while they figure out what to do about their home. Marion County officials are still removing debris from the storm and say work will be completed later this week.