Man Describes Attempt to Save Wife in Buffalo, Mo., Twister

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BUFFALO, Mo. --  Just after midnight on Wednesday morning, tornado sirens blared in Buffalo, Mo., about three hours south of Kansas City, but the warning was too short for many residents to find safety.

Thomas Jenkins said he did everything he could to spare his wife and kids from the twister. But his wife, Angela Jenkins, 42, was found lifeless just outside her trailer home.

"I tried to save my wife. I held everything up. Stuff kept hitting me in the head. My kids are in the hospital," said Jenkins. "It didn't make no sound," he said. "It didn't make no sound whatsoever."

With hail hitting the roof, the wind blowing out the windows of their home, Jenkins tried to hold on to his family.

"It drug my daughter out of the front of the trailer and throwed her," Jenkins said. "She got eight fractures in her back. She's got a neck brace, shes five months pregnant."

The storm was too strong; Mother Nature too powerful.

"It sucked me out of the house," he said. "As soon as I hit the ground, I was back, trying to get them. And I was holding something up trying to get it off my wife and something hit me in the back of the head."

Rescue workers climbed over downed power lines to get to the many people lying amongst the debris.

"I saved the three people in the trailer beside me, Ronda's daughter," he said. "I saved my two kids, and I couldn't save my wife," Jenkins said.

Dallas County Emergency Management Director Jason Wendlandt said the National Weather Service called just after midnight and said the tornado was on the ground.

"They told us it was three miles southwest of Buffalo and probably two minutes after the phone call is when we started getting reports of the damage," Wendlandt said.

The Emergency Management team said between 30 and 50 homes and business were damaged in Buffalo. All 15 trailers in the trailer park just south of Buffalo were leveled by the storm. The cleanup will continue, but the people of Buffalo vow to clean up and carry on.

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