CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three children sucked from their east Charlotte home by a tornado Saturday morning are out of the hospital Sunday night, the children’s family told NewsChannel 36.
Three-year-old twins and their 5-year-old sister were injured when a tornado hit their house on Brookstead Meadow Court early Saturday. The 5-year-old landed in a neighbor’s yard, and their 7-year-old brother, Jamal, was tossed by the whirlwind and landed on I-485, which is behind the house. He is also OK.
Their house looks like it was sucked inside out, with the entire second floor strewn in a single, thick path across the back yard. Only the ground floor remains -- partially. Neighbors said it is a miracle anyone survived.
Sunday, volunteers were too busy cleaning up the neighborhood to stare at the damage.
“It's one thing to see it on TV, but it’s surreal when you see it live and in living color,” said Mike Dames, a volunteer who spent the day sawing fallen trees and clearing debris.
Dames had made a call for volunteers at his Church of Christ Sunday morning.
“I said we need all men with trucks, chain saws and good backs to meet me at 1:30 -- and here we are,” he said. About 50 men from the church came to help.
George Hardy’s daughter’s back yard was one of about six they cleared.
“It’s just been an overwhelming outpouring of support,” said Hardy. “Just unbelievable.. but that's what community is all about.”
Police officers stood guard to keep curious onlookers out of the neighborhood.
“We want the residents to feel comfortable and safe coming back to their neighborhoods,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dep. Chief Katrina Graue, as she supervised the officers who directed traffic and let residents through. “So as you can see, there's a very visible police presence.”
Volunteers kept working until the sun went down, leaving debris piled at curbs. They had made a lot of progress.
“It's the right thing to do,” said Dames. “It feels good.”