Family lucky to be alive after tornado sends trees crashing into their home

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An EF-3 tornado ripped through Brunswick County Monday night, killing at least three people and injuring 10 in the Ocean Ridge Plantation Neighborhood. Just down the road, one family is lucky to be alive after the tornado knocked multiple trees on their home.

Mike Dispirito says he and his wife were asleep in their home on Bliss Road when their grandson was woken up by the storm and came into their room.

“If it hadn’t been for my six-year-old grandson being afraid of the thunder and lightning, we may not even be having this conversation,” Dispirito told WWAY Tuesday evening.

Once they were woken up, they too noticed the intensity of the storm.

“My wife happened to say, she said ‘what’s that noise?'” Dispirito said. “We could hear the rumble, and I said ‘it sounds like a tornado.'”

The family quickly took shelter in an interior bathroom hoping the storm would pass.

“We kind of stayed in the bathroom hunkered down in the tub with some pillows and blankets,” Dispirito said. “It seemed like an eternity but it was probably just a couple of minutes.”

When they emerged, Dispirito found multiple trees had crashed into the house, including the room where his grandson and daughter had been sleeping minutes before.

“Tree came into the house, went into the front bedroom, busted four trusses, and took the drywall and insulation down where they were actually sleeping before they came into our room,” he said.

The family of seven is shaken up, but thankful to be alive.

“We were very fortunate and I believe the lord was looking out for us,” Dispirito said. “Another 50 feet this way for the tornado and the house would be gone.”

The family is receiving support from the Red Cross and Baptists on Mission. They are making accommodations to stay at a friend’s house.

Dispirito urges everyone to have a plan for severe weather.

“The thing that I take out of this is you just have to be ready.”

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