Never say never

Published 11:37 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

Pregnant woman rode out tornado in hallway

Lory Horne went upstairs to get some candles, and when she looked out her bedroom window, she saw the tornado tearing up her street.

Exactly 10 years ago, Horne — seven months pregnant at the time — wondered if she was going to die in her Burnett’s Mill home.

The evening started normally, with her husband cooking dinner for her and their one child.

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“We knew the weather was going to be bad, and we didn’t know if we were going to lose electricity,” Horne said. “We got a call from a friend saying there was a tornado warning, but we didn’t really believe it.”

All Horne thought was that a tornado wouldn’t happen here, because nothing ever happens in Suffolk. It would have been terrible luck, because Horne and her husband had just moved into their house earlier in the month.

They decided the hallway was the only safe place to be in their house, and right after the warning from their friend, the couple heard the tornado coming their way.

“It was the scariest thing I had ever seen before,” Horne said. “I raced down the stairs to join my family in the hallway.”

Horne said the tornado whipped down their street “in a matter of seconds,” and once they believed the coast was clear, they went to see the damage.

Glass had blown out of the back of the home and covered much of the first floor.

“The tornado pushed out a wall upstairs, and you could look outside without looking through the window,” Horne said. “Thankfully, that was the extent of our damage, and it could have been much worse.”

The damage added up to roughly $20,000 in their brand-new home, but thankfully the homeowner’s insurance took care of the bill.

The rest of their street also had some damage, but they were luckier than other Suffolk residents. Their next-door neighbors had a tree fall on their home. Horne said one good thing that came out of the tornado is that they got to know their neighbors better.

The Hornes had to move out of their house for a few months. Thankfully Horne’s parents’ house didn’t get hit by the tornado, so they stayed with them for a little while — and soon had a bigger family to welcome them back into their home.

“We got back just in time for the baby to be born,” Horne said.

Horne still gets scared, 10 years later, every time a big storm is going to hit Suffolk.

“Every now and again when a severe storm comes along, I get a little on edge,” Horne said. “The whole day is still so vivid.”