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‘I’m still shaking:’ Tornado hit Charlotte day care, owner saved children within minutes of impact

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A quick-thinking day care owner jumped into action when she saw a tornado was going to touch down in her neighborhood — saving the children in the nick of time.

“I was terrified,” said Sherri Wellman. “I’m still shaking and overwhelmed.”

Storms not only ravaged Wellman’s South Charlotte home, but it also serves as the day care she runs for five children under 2.

“We were watching the news,” said Wellman. “We saw that the tornado apparently was going to hit Providence High School within three minutes, and Providence High School is just right here. I had two babies in my sunroom. Threw them in my son’s arms. Ran out to the playroom. My husband and I grabbed the others.”

To say this was a close call is an understatement. She said three minutes later, the roof collapsed right on top of where five babies had been sleeping.

“My husband was still on his way out of the room when he said the tree hit the playroom,” said Wellman.

They huddled together in one of the only areas that didn’t get hit.

“I was thanking God they were alive,” said Wellman.

Sara Wright got a text about what happened and left work. She was speechless when she saw the house and her daughter, Madelyn, unharmed.

“It was probably the best thing I’ve ever felt in my life to hug on her again, and then to hug Sherri, because her family, they saved our children,” said Wright. “Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate her being 1, which is a miracle that she’s here to do that.”

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