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Family survives EF-1 tornado in Batesville, Mississippi

A low pressure system pushed through the Mid-South Wednesday and left a path of destruction along its way.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Wednesday evening's tornadoes left a lot of damage all across the Mid-South.

The National Weather Service is surveying the area to determine if there were tornadoes and their strength. As of Thursday, they confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in Panola County, Mississippi. 

Norma Johnson and her husband Irby have lived in their home for more than 60 years. It has been in their family for almost 100, and now they are picking up the pieces after it was almost destroyed. 

Two days later and Norma still could not believe that she was in the middle of a natural disaster. 

"I've always seen this on TV and I thought how will they ever get through that. I guess we're getting ready to find out," she said.

The Johnsons and their great-nephew were in the house on Wednesday night when they noticed that the weather had took a turn for the worst. They looked out the window and saw that the rain was coming in sideways. They felt the pressure of the wind gusts, and they saw the trees splitting in half.  

They tried their best to make it into the bathroom. But they all didn't make it inside. Mr. Johnson laid in the hallway until the storm passed. 

"You didn't have time to get scared. It was over too quick. In five minutes, it was gone," he said.

Immediately after the storm passed, they noticed the damage to their home. The wind blew a large portion of the roof off. The insulation was showing and it was raining heavily inside the house. 

Even though there is extensive damage to their home, the family is just thankful that they made it out with no injuries. 

Irby Johnson has a message for people that may experience a tornado warning. 

"I mean you got to be ready. I don't know if you can do a lot of preparing other than to go into the bathroom in the middle of the house," said Johnson.

The power has not been restored yet and there are other homes damaged on the Johnson's street. Most of their neighbors are family members and even the ones that are not have pitched in to help out. 

"One of my grandsons bought us a generator so that we can turn it on and have electricity as We need it. So, we're lucky really," said Mrs. Johnson.

The tornado that touched down in Panola, Mississippi stayed on the ground for 16 miles and had winds over 100 miles an hour. One person, in a mobile home was injured. There were no fatalities.