Storm shelter saves her life

Storm shelter saves her life
By: Erica Byfield

Massac County, IL - Ruthless weather slammed into all of our Heartland states leaving destruction. Three days later stories of survival are staring to emerge from the rubble.

"He opened the door and I said what's out there, and he said nothing!  You don't think nothing is nothing; you don't think your house is gone," said tornado survivor Pat Cole.
Cole says she can't shake that memory from her head, "you just can't believe it could be that fast and that strong."
She credits her survival on two things.  First, her 21 year old grandson Jeremy and second, the storm shelter she begged her daughter to put in two months ago.
A decision she now calls a life saver.
Walking through what's left of her worldly possessions Cole recounted her nightmare, "he looked out the bedroom window and it was there."
Jeremy and his family live below her, so when he noticed a tornado off in the distance; he grabbed his dog and head for Cole's trailer.
Then they both made a beeline to the storm shelter, "he couldn't get it open and just kicked it open," she said but once inside the unruly winds made the metal door difficult to close.
"We got in but he couldn't get it shut because of the pressure of the wind so he was pushing on it laying on it to get it to shut," Cole added.
In a matter of seconds an eerie silence, Pat Cole realized, she survived what her trailer did not.
"You pick up something and you say this used to be in this room or this used to be in that room so it's a shock," she said.
Cole adds everyone can learn from her story: storm shelters can save lives and for her one more revelation, "no more trailers, no more trailers."
Pat Cole has plans to rebuild a home on the property.
Until then the Red Cross helped her secure seven nights at the Holiday Inn in Metropolis.