Raleigh family lost homes in Hurricane Fran, tornado

Posted April 19, 2011 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2011 7:31 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh family whose house was destroyed by Hurricane Fran in 1996 lost a second home to natural disaster during Saturday's tornado.

Kenneth Koscal, his wife and 5-year-old twin daughters were at home in a northeast Raleigh neighborhood off Forestville Road when the storm hit.

"You could just sense something ominous was going to happen," he said. "I knew we were in trouble when I saw the pine trees were all starting to rotate."

Koscal corralled his family into the downstairs bathroom and watched as his roof landed next door. All of the contents of the upstairs bedrooms were sucked out and scattered.

"The air in front of you just turns black, and then every single pine tree and the roof all just went off in one fell swoop," he said.

The damage to their home is extensive, but Koscal and his wife are used to rebuilding.

"I have a house about three blocks from here that was destroyed by Hurricane Fran, so I've got bad luck on this side of town I guess," he said.

The hurricane sent a large tree crashing through the couple's home, displacing them for six months. Koscal said he expects that recovering from the tornado will take even longer.

But the family considers itself among the lucky ones, Koscal said, even as they rebuild from a massive storm for the second time.

"All we were concerned about is that we were safe," he said. "Everything else here can be replaced."