Dunn baby survives tornado

Posted April 18, 2011

— Memories scattered all over the ground are all that is left of Pearlie Robinson’s mobile home in Dunn.

Robinson was at home with her children and her niece’s baby when a massive tornado came barreling straight for them on Saturday.

“Glass started shattering, the trailer started moving and we just got to one end that we thought was safe enough, and the trailer just came down on us,” Robinson said.

Robinson’s son, Jonathan, grabbed 3-month-old Ayden moments before the twister hit.

“By the time I ran to the closet, I could see my window shattering, and after that, everything just collapsed, and the wind blew him out of my hands,” Jonathan Robinson said. “I just had to find him. That was the only thing I could think of.”

Ayden, 3-months-old Dunn baby survives tornado

They found Ayden beneath a closet door. He didn’t have a scratch on him.

“He had dirt in his eyes and in his face, but he was crying, so they said that was a good sign,” family member Teneka Robinson said. 

"My baby's not supposed to be here right now," Ayden's mother, Ceira Robinson, said Monday. 

"Just the grace of God," Jonathan Robinson said. 

Of the 30 homes at the mobile home park where the Robinsons live,only three remain livable.

Dunn man thrown from mobile home 

Hobbling on crutches Jose Osorio wandered through what was left of the Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park in Dunn on Monday.

Osorio’s home is gone, but he isn’t complaining.

Dunn man thrown from mobile home Dunn man thrown from mobile home

He was watching soccer with friends on Saturday when a massive tornado crossed Interstate-95 in Dunn and headed straight for them.

“His friends said, ‘We’re going to die. We’re going to die.’ They saw everything. It was black and the tornado was coming,” Osorio’s translator, Juan Sanchez, said.

Osorio said the tornado picked up the mobile home with everyone inside.

When Osorio awoke, he was lying in the road. He had a few cuts and scrapes.

There were two fatalities at the Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park.


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  • busyb97 Apr 19, 2011

    Unless a shelter is underground, you aren't truly any safer in it than any other home. Your odds are better in your favor that it just misses you entirely- since Tornadoes and their paths aren't predictable. We had just a few minutes notice that one was heading straight for us. Where would we go? How do I know that where I choose to go is not directly in it's path? We got in our safest possible place in our home and prayed as it howled 200 yrds from our house and only causing minor damage. A little further in our way, and we would be telling a different story.

    I'm just amazed with every story, every photo, and every time I leave my neighborhood and see the destruction just yards from my front door- and thankful that we were unscathed.

  • bronzegoddess40 Apr 19, 2011

    One thing for sure, they survived a tornado that killed so many other people. I could certainly see that happen. Why such negativity saying that they made it up? What would they gain if they did??? They have lost everything that they owned.

  • ntew001 Apr 19, 2011

    To those of you who say people should have gotten to a shelter... you weren't here, you don't know what happened, and I wish you would keep your "coulda, shoulda, woulda" to yourselves. This tornado went through my back yard, I watched it rip people's homes apart and I can see what is left of this trailer park from my back door. We had minimal warning. By the time they said "take cover" on the news... the thing was on the ground.

    Tell me, if you heard that on the news, looked out your window and saw what I saw... would you try to run to a shelter or would you do as I did and pray to God that you survive?

  • newssaavy72 Apr 19, 2011

    Now this is truly miraculous! I wanted to cry when I first saw this story on the news! God was with this infant. He would not believe what happened to him when they tell him the story when he is older!

  • caeyla Apr 19, 2011

    " do understand that this was a tornado and not a hurricane, right?? How exactly do you expect people to get to a shelter with a few SECONDS notice?"

    Exactly. You are darned lucky if you get more than 5-10 minutes notice that a tornado is heading your way, and usually at that point, conditions are already too bad to risk getting on the road.

    I don't have a hard time believing this. I've read a lot of tornado stories, and to be perfectly honest, this one would not even make it into the top 10 extraordinary tornado stories. Tornadoes have been known to pretty much level a building, but leave a few things inside seemingly untouched. Tornadoes have ripped people apart that were holding on to each other for dear life--sometimes leaving one dead and the other barely touched. There's more than one case of babies being pulled from a crib, blown out in the yard or even into a neighbor's yard, mostly unharmed. No, I don't find this particular story unbelievable in the least.

  • dogluv3r Apr 19, 2011 do understand that this was a tornado and not a hurricane, right?? How exactly do you expect people to get to a shelter with a few SECONDS notice?
    Lisa4, I couldn't agree with you more! WRAL, please block the negative comments. This is a disaster no matter what race or monetary status, and until you have lived through a tornado (I have) don't be talking about how these people are making stuff up to get on TV. I have seen what it can do. Look at the pictures folks!

  • bkallen04 Apr 19, 2011

    Who cares what really happened? All that matters at this point is that everyone is safe and uninjured.

    Are you jealous that it didn't destroy your house or kill your family?????

  • lisa4 Apr 19, 2011

    WRAL...............please stop posting negative comments on these sad storm stories. You can block them & I sure wished you would.
    God bless all of these families who have lost loved ones and their homes.

  • nellbaby Apr 19, 2011

    I have a hard time believing this story. It smacks of someone making it up for attention. Dude said the tornado sucked the baby out of his arms, and he was bear-hugging the baby to keep it close to him. A tornado would have pulled me out WITH the baby before it would have pulled it out of my hands.

    This just doesn't ring true to me.
    TruthBKnown Returns

    Maybe you don't believe it because you weren't there or it's never happened to you so therefor you think it can't be true. But believe me, after seeing the damages, I do believe this story

  • nellbaby Apr 19, 2011

    Trailers are not really safe at all to be in when tornado hits that area. It would be better to go to a shelter. Even todays homes are not safe and the people should also go to a shelter. But the people need a shelter to go to in the first place. Was the town/county prepared for the tornado? No! Why not? Glad the baby survived. All God's work.

    I agree that trailers are not a good place to be in during a tornado, but if you have seen the damege in that area you would know that nowhere was safe.....and yes, the town did have a shelter for those who chose to go there and they were as prepared as they could be.. The police and emergency crews in that area have regular training sessions to prepare for such tragic events. No one can determine what the end results of a tornado can be, so just be thankful that you are still alive and able to post on golo. I hope that your family is safe.