Smithville family lucky to be alive after EF-2 tornado destroys home

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- Those who live in the Diamond Crest community in Smithville are picking up the pieces after an EF-2 Tornado damaged dozens of homes and displaced several families.

"It had to come straight at us. That’s the only way I can tell because of how everything went in. Everything went in this way," Gerald Mayberry, a survivor of Monday's tornado, said.

Only a few walls of Mayberry's home are still standing after the tornado ran through his Smithville neighborhood.

"It sounded like a freight train," Mayberry said.

Gerald said he and Dena, his wife, took cover inside of their bathroom as 130 mph winds tore through the area.

"This is where we were at after the fact. This was the door we were holding onto when it lifted up into the air and I threw myself into the shower part." Mayberry said, "By the time I grabbed that door and shut it all hell broke loose."

"The walls caved in, the house is gone. I can’t believe we are OK," Smith said.

Smith said the devastation of what happened did not settle in until she returned home the following morning.

"When I saw everything this morning I was just overwhelmed and started crying. I’ve lost my cat." Smith said, "If you pan across the street, the stove is in the tree. There are projectiles sticking out of the walls inside of the house. It’s unbelievable."

Nannette Mayberry-Boudreaux, Gerald's ex-wife, and Cassie Mayberry, his daughter, did what they could to help recover lost belongings.

"We’ve been through a million different things in our family but this one is devastating. To lose something that was going to be paid off in a couple of months," Mayberry-Boudreaux said.

"It only takes a second. You don’t think a tornado is going to hit your home until it does. IT’s all about appreciating the people in your life," Cassie said.

Although the Mayberry's have lost their home, they are happy to be alive and ready to rebuild.

"Everything else is material. I’m extremely grateful that we are all alive me, the dog, and my husband," Smith said.

"Rebuild and start over. What other choice do you have? You’ve got to keep moving on but it’s a hell of a setback," Mayberry said.