• Central Ga. woman describes being caught in tornado


    ZEBULON, Ga. - A Pike County woman is sharing her story of survival with Channel 2 Action News.

    Tory Merritt was caught in a tornado in February 1993, which left her permanently injured.

    Merritt was living with her mother in a house trailer in Zebulon, Ga. at the time. She told Channel 2's Eric Philips she was awakened by her mother yelling to get into the hallway.

    Merritt said all of a sudden papers and other debris started flying around the home. Then she blacked out.
    Merritt said the next thing she knew, she woke up under the trailer.

    "The tornado had actually picked us up and we were caught in the cyclone and were thrown about 200 yards and then the house landed on top of me in the road," Merritt said.

    Merritt told Philips she had insulation and other debris from the home on top of her when she woke up.

    She said that's when she started making noise so rescuers could find her, even singing "Amazing Grace" at one point.

    Emergency crews eventually found after about four hours of being trapped under the house. Her mother did not survive the storm. Emergency crews told Merritt her mother died instantly after the house fell on them.

    Merritt said Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla. has stirred up all of the memories from that night in 1993.

    "Just hearing all of this again on Monday, It's like reliving it. And I watched the news and I listened to the radio and I hear it and I can't pull myself away from it," Merritt said.

    Merritt said she is really concerned for the parents in Moore.

    "I cannot imagine what these parents are going through looking for these kids and not knowing where they're at. It breaks my heart," Merritt told Philips.

    Merritt said she realizes some families may have to deal with injuries like hers or worse, but she said even they can look forward to healing one day at a time.

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    Central Ga. woman describes being caught in tornado