It was almost three years ago that a tornado tore through Choctaw County.
“I had this big pillow and I run to the bathtub and I think I got one foot in and that’s the last thing I remembered. I went up I guess it picked me up and set me down and when it was over I was laying in a bunch of bricks. It blew all my house away except one room. There was one room left standing,” says Mari-Anne Castle.
A great-Grandmother of eight, Mari-Anne Castle is looking forward to her 75th birthday next week. She nearly lost her life 3 years ago when a tornado destroyed her home.
“Makes me know that God wasn’t ready for me. He was not ready. He was looking out after us, had to be because the way it hit it’s a wonder we hadn’t all been killed,” says Castle.
The tornado hit Choctaw County around 2:30am leaving houses completely destroyed and claiming five lives including a 3-month old child. A long time Weir resident Theodore Dotson remembers the devastation all too well.
“It brings back surprising memories. I didn’t know the tornado had come, but when I got on 413 right here headed east, got up on the hill here. Everything was gone except the house across the street right there,” says Theodore Dotson.
But the Weir community is strong. People came together to help those who lost everything. Dotson provided free room and board for some neighbors until they could get back on their feet.
“I let some of the people stay in it. They stayed about a month. Their house all had blown away,” says Dotson.
Many homes and businesses, including the local grocery store, have been rebuilt since the storm, but Castle knows the tornado left a lasting scar on her town.
“I was never scared of bad weather before, but now when they talk about bad weather I get really scared even though I have a storm shelter. I still get nervous and scared about it,” says Castle.
April 24th will be the 3rd anniversary of the deadly storm.