Family survives house being lifted by tornado, moved feet from f - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Family survives house being lifted by tornado, moved feet from foundation

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PARON (KATV) - Incredible stories of survival emerging from the rubble of Sunday’s devastating tornado.  A family right next door to a home where three people were killed in Pulaski County managed to make it out alive.

“This was the front – this was the stairs that came up to our porch and our front door was right here,” remembered Lance Hobday, his house sucked up in the tornado that hit Paron.  It was moved about 15 feet off of its cinder-block foundation.

“[The house] moved back to where the back of the house used to be.”

Sunday, when the storm was approaching their Deer Drive home, Hobday’s wife said they needed to take cover.  She knew something was going to happen.

“This is where we survived – in this little closet,” said Hobday.  “We all piled in there.”

Hobday, his wife and six year-old daughter Hannah huddled and prayed in the small front hall coat closet.  While inside the closet, underneath coats and jackets, Hobday could hear the roof being ripped off the house and then he felt the house move; he described it as a rollercoaster ride.


“My daughter kept saying, ‘Are we going to die?  Are we going to die?’… and I didn’t really know what to say,” said Hobday.

After the family heard silence from the storm they had to bust through a window to get out of their home.

“That’s when I heard the neighbor’s kids in my backyard screaming for help,” lamented Hobday. 

Their next door neighbors, the Tittles, unfortunately weren’t as lucky as they were – losing a father and two children.

Now their bedroom is trashed, their freezer, washing and dryer machines tossed around like toys – the floors are warped, covered in insulation from a now non-existant attic. 

Unfortunately because the damage is so severe in places like Vilonia and Mayflower, Hobday said their insurance agent still hasn’t had time to get to them.  But he and his wife feel fortunate enough to at least have insurance unlike many other victims.

“You know within 30 seconds it was over,” said Hobday.  “We were here and that’s the best thing.”