Tornado hits south Charlotte daycare, owner saves children within minutes of impact

Storm rips through daycare in Charlotte NC. (Photo: WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – An EF-1 tornado ripped through the Settlers Landing neighborhood off of Pineville-Matthews Road on Thursday. Trees collapsed onto a daycare operating out of a house on Silversmith Lane with five children inside at the time.

The daycare owner says the children were minutes from being crushed by a tree.

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Daycare owner Sherri Wellman said it was raining outside but they did not know what to expect.

“We were watching the news, we saw that the tornado apparently was going to hit Providence High School within three minutes and Providence High School is just right here,” she said. Wellman knew she had to act quickly.

“I had two babies in my sunroom,” she said. “I threw them in my son’s arms. Then I ran out to the playroom, my husband and I grabbed the others.”

She says less than three minutes later the roof collapsed right on top of the area where several babies had been sleeping. They huddled together in one of the only areas that didn’t get hit.

“I was thanking God they were alive,” she said.

Wellman immediately texted the parents to let them know their children were alright but would need to be picked up.

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