Baby, grandma rode out Joplin tornado in closet
JOPLIN, Mo. - More than 2,000 homes were destroyed by Sunday's tornado in the southwest Missouri city of Joplin. Among the many survivors was a tiny baby and his grandmother, who rode out the storm by taking shelter in the closet of a house that was barely standing Tuesday.
"Right now, it really hasn't hit me," Rosetta Vest said.
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In a sea of splintered homes and overturned cars, Vest can't believe what happened to her city or that she survived it.
"I couldn't tell you what happened," said Vest. "God was with us. He protected us all the way."
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Vest was at home Sunday watching her 4-month-old grandson, Elijah, when she heard the tornado coming. She grabbed the baby and ran in the closet.
"We got in there just in time to where I just shut the door, and I held on to the baby and off we went," said Vest. "It was a crazy ride."
They were the most terrifying moments of her life. The tornado churned past.
"The door was kicking out to where my toes were going underneath it, and I could just feel the pressure of it, and I was holding on to that door tight and holding onto the baby, hoping that we'd make it through, and we did," Vest said.
"I was praying to God, hoping to protect us and make it through this," Vest said.
When she emerged, still clutching the baby and the door handle, only two walls of the closet were standing, the house demolished.
"It was quite an adventure," said Vest. "I'm lucky to be here."
Now Vest is left searching for memories in the aftermath.
"Trying to save what we can and the personal things, trying to find pictures that I can keep," Vest said.
But she feels that she saved the important thing.
"My baby, yeah, and me," said Vest. "We're all together. We're all happy, so that's all that matters."
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