89-Year-Old Woman Survives Twister

Tornado Tears Through Louise Neil's Home

An 89-year-old woman survived a tornado that hit her home in the small southeast town of Holly late Wednesday night.

Louise Neill lived by herself at her home in the 500 block of Highland Street. Her concerned daughter, Sheri Wagner, called her moments before the tornado tore through the area to warn her of the storm ahead.

As Wagner told her mother about the dark skies and the tornado-like conditions, the phone went dead and the tornado hit Neil's house.

"She says, 'Mother, there is a tornado north of Holly,'" Neil told 7NEWS. "She had just gotten it out of her mouth before I could put that receiver down and it hit."

Neill said the entire house shook and her windows burst. She said her furniture flew through the air.

"It came in with such a noise," she said. "A lot of people said it sounds like a train, but to me it didn't."

Neil said she immediately hit the floor when the tornado touched down.

"It thought, 'Louise, you have to get out of here,'" she said.

She was able to get out of the house and began walking barefoot and distraught seven blocks down the street until a man found her.

She was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center.

"That's the first time I've been in a helicopter," she said.

Neil survived the twister with a few scrapes and bruises.

"I feel very lucky," she said. "How can a person be any luckier?"

Neil told 7NEWS she was anxious to get home and assess the damage and check on her two cats. One of the cats was still missing Thursday afternoon.

Neil said the experience left her with plenty of memories and a new respect for Mother Nature.