Tornado victims tell their harrowing stories of survival

NAPLATE, Ill (WIFR) -- Survivors from Tuesday’s tornado that hit Naplate and Ottawa are sharing their stories of how they rode out the storm.

"We literally had minutes," Ashley Miller said.

The destruction is shocking: Aluminum wrapped around a tree, signs twisted in the wind, homes and lives uprooted. Survivors like Ashley Miller now tell their harrowing stories. She covered her six and two year old sons with a blanket in the corner of the basement.

"I just heard all the noise and all the windows were shattering and I could feel all the debris hitting my back," she said.

What felt like a lifetime Miller says only lasted a matter of seconds.

Across town Rebecca Rose surveys the damage at her mom's house. Part of the roof now sits on the driveway, the car is in the front lawn.

"I can't believe they're alive," Rose said, fighting back tears.

Sifting through the rubble is almost too much to handle.

"It’s just the little stuff that you'll never get to see again that's ruined," Rose explained.

A child's bike and toys litter the yard, a bed is now in the front lawn.

As Cheryl Mucci walks the town she's live in for more than 50 years she's left nearly speechless.

"All my friends and neighbors homes are just ruined, just gone," she said.

"To grow up here and see this and see what it looks like now, it's shocking," Cheryl’s son said.

In many ways It's the things that survived like an American flag giving many who lost everything hope to rebuild.

A disaster recovery fund for the survivors of the tornado has been set up. For more information on how to donate, please click on the attached related link.