MISSISSIPPI (WITI) — A powerful tornado swept through southern Mississippi on December 23rd. Five people were killed. Two Columbia, Mississippi residents were able to shoot video of the deadly twister.
The tornado was an EF-3.
“Intense, very intense,” Jessie Graham said.
“A near-death experience that, again, God spared our lives for,” Donna Gardner said.
“In my mind I was thinking, ‘What were the last things I told my kids? Did I tell them I loved them when I left this morning, you know, and my wife,'” Jessie Graham said.
Graham, a liasion for Camellia Home Health and Hospice was standing under the building’s carport when he captured video with his cell phone.
“My co-worker had been trying to get the door open as I was filming, and when I seen that it was closed shut by the pressure, I decided to quit filming at that time and it was more important to get in and get under the desk,” Graham said.
“We held each other tight. We were praying, and we knew it was over because we could see the daylight inside the building with no electricity because the roof was gone,” Gardner said.
Will Bozeman, an employee at Bumper to Bumper also experienced the tornado.
“It was really scary, and I really thought, I thought I was going to die. I just got engaged, and I thought that morning was the last time I was ever going to see her. It scared me,” Bozeman said.
Bozeman was also able to capture cell phone video.
“I was recording, and it got bad, and I was backing up the whole time, and I fell, and I dropped my phone and it got sucked up by the tornado,” Bozeman said.
Bozeman says he found his phone three days later in the rubble. That’s when he saw the video.
“It’s a miracle we all made it, and we’re still alive, and it’s something to look at. The good Lord’s looking out for everybody,” Bozeman said.
“We’ve had a lot of support from other communities, and we would like to say thank you for that,” Gardner said.
“The Camellia family is great. They all pulled together,” Graham said.