140-year old home demolished in storm - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

140-year old home demolished in storm

TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) -

A couple is cleaning up after their home was leveled by a severe thunderstorm. They have an inspiring story of survival.

"It was all the force of nature unleashed,” said Larry Odom.

The home is completely destroyed.

"At this point we're just trying to pick up debris and see what did survive," said Odom.

Wednesday's storm started with lightning and rain before winds close to 75 miles an hour blistered the home—forcing them to take cover.

"And that doorway right there is where we stood and we call that doorway the Jesus doorway. That's it right there. That's what saved our life--that doorway," said Odom.

The back corner of the house where they were is the only portion still standing.

"It lifted that other side and when it did, everything started to separate. It just imploded basically from within," said Odom.

The old home was literally lifted off the ground by Mother Nature. A large oak tree added to the damage when it toppled down on the side of the house.

"As you can see the ceiling started to fall. But it didn't happen. God saved us," said Odom.

Once the storm finally passed, the Odoms managed to find a small gap to safety.

"I got my wife out and I got out, then I got my wife out. That tunnel you see right there is how we crawled out from that back room," said Odom.

There was one thing that did survive through the storm though—a picture of Jesus and the 12 disciples.

"This was blown out into the yard and saved and you can see the whole frame is intact," said Odom.

The picture now represents the couple's hope and their desire that someone can learn from their attitude in this situation.

"Other people can learn that when some kind of devastation like that happens, and it affects you, that if you hold it together, you take one step at a time; you can overcome it."

It’s a long process that Larry Odom is determined to start now.

The Odoms are staying in their car next to the flattened home because they don't want to leave their animals alone. Their two dogs and three horses also survived the storm.

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