Several areas of the upper-midwest have seen severe weather in the past week. For Josh and Kayla Cotton of Stanton, North Dakota the last few days have been some of the worst.
Last Thursday’s storm blew their home apart. Since then, the family has been trying to salvage anything they can.
This is all that’s left of their home. As Thursday’s storm ripped their house a part, they woke up to find their roof gone.
It was these parents worst nightmare, finding and rescuing their two young children, their 11 month old son was buried under insulation and sheet rock.
“So I reached ahead further, ended up throwing some sheet rock off. I reached down again and grabbed his ankles. Then he came freely and started crying,” said Kayla Cotton.
Shortly after, they headed for the basement to seek shelter.
“I went back, I tried kicking the door in, I tried shouldering it, I grabbed a chair and just trying beating it down,” said Josh Cotton.
After no luck, what Josh did next may have saved his family’s lives.
“So I thought, a gun, I’ll shoot the door down. That was enough to relieve the pressure. It swung open easy,” Josh said.
This is what’s left of Josh and Kayla’s bedroom. They woke up to their roof being blown off of their house. This was the worst part of the storm, a result of a micro-burst, tearing through their home with winds of about 130 mph.
The Mercer/Oliver emergency manager says its weather like this that should always be taken seriously.
“But this was as bad as a tornado. I believe the weather service said it was a cat 2 tornado winds. When we hear this winds at 80 mph, people need to take shelter. You need to go to your basement. don’t just assume,” said Karmen Reed, Emergency Manager for Mercer and Oliver counties.
As for the Cottons, they’re just thankful they survived unharmed.
“I don’t really care about the material things. I’m so happy, it’s amazing how we didn’t get stabbed with something, something slashed. Kayla got hit, and she’s got a little scratch from it,” said Josh.
While much of the cotton’s farm was destroyed, they’re lucky enough to lean on close family, living with Kayla’s parents until they can rebuild.