WASHINGTON, BEAUFORT COUNTY - Don Vortz was well aware tat tornadoes were bearing down on Washington on Friday. What he didn't expect, was for one of them to come down directly in front of him.
"There was a huge dark cloud. And as soon as that cloud cleared the trees it dropped the funnel," said Vortz.
He had been standing on his porch. When he saw the tornado, he grabbed his dog and ran for a ditch. He kept hoping the tornado would veer off, but it didn't.
"It was a roaring sound, but then the glass began to shatter, and the wood began to crack, and the tin was flying through the trees, and it was just something I've never heard before. It brought chills to my bones," he said.
Vortz watched as his home was picked 30 feet up off the ground.
"The trailer dropped and it just exploded," he said.
Vortz, who says he is a disabled veteran, said he has been through "some stuff". But nothing like this.
"You feel defenseless. You know, if I was in a foxhole i would have been able to defend myself. But this you're completely helpless," he said.
While in the ditch, Vortz says a wooden beam came directly at him, barely missing him as it crashed to the ground.
"If I'd gotten hit by it I wouldn't be here today. I was just scared it was terrifying," he said.
Though everything he's ever collected is now destroyed, he knows that his life could have been lost as well.
"I'm grateful to God that he didn't take me. I mean, I'm living through this and there's got to be a reason for it," he said.
Vortz did not have insurance on his home. He is currently trying to figure out what to do next.
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