Couple recounts run-in with twister

Posted March 28, 2009 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated March 29, 2009 5:08 a.m. EDT

— A Robeson County couple spent Saturday in the hospital after a tornado destroyed their home on East Everett Road, near Parkton.

Jamie Sewell, 23, was inside the mobile home when the storm hit Friday. The wind was so strong, she couldn’t get the door open.

"It started rolling and tumbling, and I just closed my eyes. That's all I could do," Sewell said.

Her boyfriend, Kevin Kingsberry, 37, was next door at his mother's house. When he came outside, he saw Sewell flying through the air, then landing in the yard – 100 feet from where the home had stood.

"It just felt like my heart dropped – felt like wasn't going to live," Sewell said. "But I made it. I reckon it wasn't my time to go."

Kingsberry said he ducked flying debris to rush to his girlfriend.

"Only thing she could say is 'Kevin,' and I'm running to her," he said.

Sewell had broken her arm and ankle, and had scrapes all over her body. She had surgery Saturday at Southeast Regional Hospital in Lumberton to close a gash on her arm.

The tornado destroyed her home. It "was torn all to pieces," Charles Britt, with Robeson County Emergency Management, said.

"Seeing all this makes you wonder," Sewell's sister, Nicky, said while looking at the debris that remained of the home. "Don't know how she made it."

Sewell expected to be released from the hospital Sunday. She said she and Kingsberry will live with his mother.

"When I get out of here, we going to build us a brick house – no more trailers," Sewell said.

Sewell was the only person to suffer more than a scrape when at least two tornadoes tore across central North Carolina Friday.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down between 4:30 p.m. and 5:11 p.m. near Parkton and Lumberton. Thunderstorms along a swath from Robeson County to Wake County downed trees and power lines and tore siding from homes.