’79 tornado victims now survivors of tornado in Charlie

Local News

Charlie was one of the hardest hit areas on Tuesday.

Buildings were damaged, and at least one building was destroyed. 

It happened to a couple who know all too well the devastation tornadoes can leave behind. 

They survived while in the basement of their home as the tornado ripped through their property only yards away.

Just over 40-years after Ken and Toni Jetton lost their faith village home in the ’79 tornado, they could not believe another was heading straight for them.

“I couldn’t believe it. I heard the tornado come over the house. I thought well, it probably did some damage. I had no idea. This is like ’79 damage. Our damage in ’79 was probably about this bad,” Charlie resident Ken Jetton said.  

“I was sick to my stomach,” Charlie resident Toni Jetton said. “This is the second time we’ve gone through something like this and I’m still sick to my stomach. It’s hard to believe mother nature can tear stuff up like this.”

Inside a building that once stood the Jetton’s ability to crack and shell pecans.

“There’s stuff in there that’s very, very, very heavy, and it’s just gone,” Ken said.

Huge trees, generations old were ripped out of the ground.

“Oh yeah, these trees were planted in 1928. You don’t replace those very quickly,” Ken said.

Right next door to Ken and Toni’s main house sits another house, it’s vacant, also theirs. The tornado possibly threw a tree into the house and knocked it back away from the bricks. Through the window of their home, the roof was ripped right off and can be seen in the trees in the back.

“It’s scary. It’s heartbreaking, but God is good. He protected us from being hurt. I just believe there’s a reason for everything and God protected us,” Toni said.

The Jettons said once again they’ll simply pick it up, clean it up, and start again.

Ken said it’s going to be a challenge, but he hopes to have everything back into shape possibly in the next 6 months.

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