Neighbor becomes a beacon of hope after tornado wreckage

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WEHT)- Two days after the deadly tornado outbreak in Tennessee we continue to hear stories of devastation and survival.

The twister that tore through Putnam County, Tennessee, and East of Nashville was over in seconds. In the aftermath, families stumbled through debris in the dark and rain to the only nearby house that was still standing.

Amy and Darrell Jennings say their home was a beacon for traumatized neighbors.

Amy Jennings says, “We ended up with a houseful of muddy people in their pajamas, just terrified. One of the little girls is the one’s next door. She said, ‘I don’t want to leave the house that stayed up.’ And that just, I was like, that’s why our house stayed up because they needed a place to go.”

Darrell Jennings says, “We became the collection point because we were the house standing.”

The tornado that ripped a 2-mile long path through Putnam killed 18 people, including five children under 13.

Some of those were the Jennings’ neighbors and friends.

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(This story was originally published on March 5, 2020)

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