Storm Survivors

Storm Survivors
By: CJ Cassidy

Kennett, MO -F
olks near
K
ennett spent the day cleaning up
,
after an
F
-2 tornado swept through parts of
D
unklin
C
ounty.

B
ut residents there, consider themselves lucky
,
not just because they survived the storms
,
but because they live near one man who gives new meaning to the old phrase
"
love thy neighbor
".

S
unday night's tornado
left
R
ay
P
arson's home
, a pile of rubble.

I
t did
the same
to his neighbor's mobile home.

A
mazingly enough, the parsons and their neighbors escaped with a few scrapes
,
and folks in the area say it's all thanks to their quick thinking neighbor.

"I
turned
Channel
12 on
, and saw they
were flashing storm warnings
, and
come outside
to see
big black clouds in the
K
ennett area
," Parsons says.

D
espite having just had heart surgery
, P
arsons reacted quickly
,
and rushed to check next door on
C
loris
R
eeves.

"S
he came to the door
, and I
said there's a tornado comin' honey you gotta get out of this trailer.
T
hat's when they all come out
and said
what're we gonna do?
I
said we're gonna get in our hall throw a mattress over us
," he remembers.

"I
went to
the
back door
, and was
watching there
, and there
were three of them
, and
the one in the
middle was big
, and
coming toward us
," Parsons says.

Here's an
idea of the sheer force of the winds that swept through
the area: the winds picked up P
arson's truck
and
tossed it about a quarter of a mile
away from his home where it was parked.

"H
e's my hero
," N
eighbor
W
illie
R
eeves says
, adding
he can never thank
P
arsons enough for saving his wife's life
.

"H
e took the time to come over here
, and
risk
ed
his life to do what he did
," he says.

As for Parsons' 13-year-old daughter Danielle, she's more than proud of her dad. "H
e's the reason we're still alive
," she says.

B
ut the only glory
this military veteran cares about is
"O
ld
G
lory
"; he already has his flag flying high.

N
ow he's ready to take on the next challenge
;
putting the pieces of his life back together.

"I
wouldn't say
I
'm a hero
. I
love my neighbors they'd do the same for me
," he says.

I
ronically
R
ay
P
arsons' says his neighbor and her friends did help save his life and his daughters
.

T
hat's because they had planned to hide under some concrete steps behind their home
,
but there wasn't enough room for them all, so that's why they chose to hide out in the hallway.

W
hen the storm cleared
,
P
arsons says he came out to find the steps had collapsed.