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Family survives tornado that destroyed their home

GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- The tri-state's Wednesday evening was wild and dangerous thanks to at least one tornado.

In Adams County, strong winds and hail dealt a blow in and around West Union.  But to the north, the damage was much more severe.  A tornado touched down in Cedarville about eight miles northeast of Xenia.  That is the same place where a massive tornado destroyed part of the town 40 years ago.

The scene looked bleak as a house and a barn collapsed from the tornado in Cedarville Wednesday night.  A funnel forms and falls from the sky.  That's how it began and it ended with a house and a barn obliterated.  Underneath all the rubble was a family trapped.  But amazingly enough they got out unharmed.  Local 12 reporter Larry Davis has their incredible story of survival.

The twister touched down around 6p.m. traveling north east.  It leveled a pig farm that had been in the Dobbins' family since the 1880's.  Seven people headed for the basement and it's a good thing they did because they were able to live and tell their tale.

Roger Dobbins' family farm is reduced to rubble.  He is just thankful nobody got hurt.  Along with six other friends and family members, Roger rushed to the basement when a tornado rolled through the Cedarville area.   

Shari Dobbins said, "So we all went in and went down to the cellar and umm, hunkered down together and felt the walls shake and the rain come over and we knew something had happened.  We just didn't know how bad it was."

Shari Dobbins said the tornado sounded like a freight train.  They were in the basement for just a matter of minutes before everything around them was destroyed.  Police Chief Chris Gillaugh spotted the tornado headed towards the farm.

"I was no more than four football fields away from it.  The tornado itself looked to be about a football field width so I went ahead and called in, had the tornado on the ground.  It was picking up debris.  You could see when it was hitting telephone poles and just pulling poles right out of the ground," Chief Gillaugh said.

Roger Dobbins says he and the others were trapped in the basement for about a half an hour before being rescued by firefighters.    

Roger said, "We couldn't get out until they dug us out and cut a hole because we have a set of steps that come out of the basement but a wall had fallen over on it so I could hear all these guys.  They were digging us out, they couldn't hear me."

Even though he lost the family farm Roger Dobbins knows that life goes on, he's thankful no one was hurt.

"I've been around here long enough to know that, you know, you can move on as long as nobody was hurt," he said.

Follow Larry Davis on Twitter @larrydaviswkrc and LIKE him on Facebook




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