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4-month-old found alive in downed tree after Tennessee tornado destroys home: "I was pretty sure he was dead"

Baby found safe in tree after tornado destroys home
Missing baby found safe in tree after tornado destroys Tennessee home 02:02

A 4-month-old boy has survived after a tornado in Tennessee sucked him up from his family's mobile home, which was demolished in the storm. The baby's mother said she was "pretty sure" her son had died after he was swept away by the violent storm.

Sydney Moore told WSMV-TV that when the tornado hit their home in Clarksville on Saturday, it ripped off the roof and lifted the bassinet with her son inside. Her boyfriend, the child's father, tried to grab the bassinet but was spun up into the twister as well, Moore said.

"He was just holding on to the bassinet the whole time, and they went into circles, he said, and then they got thrown," Moore said.

At about the same time in another room, as the wind howled, Moore decided to jump on top of their other son, who is 1. She grabbed the child as the walls collapsed, she said.

Sydney Moore said she jumped on her 1-year-old child and her 4-month-old was swept away by the tornado. GoFundMe

Moore and the 1-year-old were crushed under the trailer, but she said she managed to push them out.

They searched for the younger son for 10 minutes, and ultimately found him lying in a fallen tree in the pouring rain.

"I was pretty sure he was dead and we weren't going to find him," Moore said. "But he's here, and that's by the grace of God."

All the family members survived with cuts and bruises, but their home and belongings were a total loss. Moore's sister has started a GoFundMe page to help them recover. By Friday morning, the page had raised more than $34,000.

Six people were killed by the string of powerful tornado-producing storms on Saturday, including 10-year-old Arlan Garrick Coty. Arlan, a fourth grader, didn't make it out of his house, which was in the direct path of the storm, his mother, Katherine Burnham, wrote in a Facebook post.

The Clarksville Police Department identified the other victims as 59-year-old Donna Allen, of Florida, and 34-year-old Stephen Kwaah Hayes, of Clarksville, CBS affiliate WTVF reports.

The three other victims were killed as the storm hit a mobile home community in Madison, Nashville Police said. They were identified as 37-year-old Joseph Dalton, 31-year-old Floridema Gabriel Perez and her son, 2-year-old Anthony Elmer Mendez. 

Caitlin O'Kane contributed to this report.

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