A FedEx delivery woman was nearly sucked up by a powerful tornado that struck the small town of Paincourtville, Louisiana, on February 23, Fox10TV reports. However, she is lucky to be alive and tell her tale of survival today — all thanks to a soda machine. While the tornado itself made it into news stories around the U.S., it is only now that the story of the miraculous survival of Kyra Johnson has garnered media attention, all thanks to a surveillance camera that captured the terrifying moment the tornado hit the area.
The video that is now being shared across various social media website was captured by a surveillance camera placed outside a store in Paincourtville. The store, Sagona’s True Value Hardware, was completely destroyed by the tornado. The store owner, David Sagona, along with a few of his employees were in the premises when the tornado hit. They were, however, not aware that the FedEx delivery woman was outside the back door. She had arrived at the store for delivery and had just stepped out of the back door when she looked at the sky and realized something wasn’t right. Kyra describes the sight.
“I had never seen the sky swirl so pretty and it was gray, but it was scary so the first thing you think let me tape it, I want to show people.”
Minutes after Kyra had stepped outside, the tornado had already reached where she was. Meanwhile, David Sagona and his employees locked the doors of the store from inside and moved to huddle inside the bathrooms, as well as some office rooms located on the upper floor of the store. They were unaware that Kyra was locked out with nowhere to go. It was last weekend that Sagona checked his security camera footage to see if it had managed to catch the events. That’s when he saw the incredible footage, in which Kyra is seen frantically running to the stores locked doors seconds before the tornado hits. Nowhere to go, she finds refuge behind a soda machine and hides behind it – wedged between the wall of the store and the soda machine. Seconds later, the tornado strikes. David Sagona recalls the moment and says that he was closing the doors of his bathroom when the tornado hit.
“As I was closing the door to the bathroom, my side wall got sucked out. I actually saw the sidewall get sucked out.”
Meanwhile, a desperate Kyra hid behind the soda machine and prayed it doesn’t tip over. She recounts the incident.
“I just braced myself right here between the Coke machine. It wasn’t even holding on. It was just to brace myself.”
Then, the thing she most feared happened. The soda machine fell over.
She recounts with horror.
“It just fell right in front of me. When it fell, I was like God what to do next? There’s nothing else in front of me but I didn’t move. That’s how I’m still in shock how could all that happen in front of me and it was like a matrix or a bubble. He just wanted me to see. I’m going to put you here. I’m going to put you through it. It’s ok but you’re going to see some things.”
When asked if she knows how she survived, she says the following.
“God, there’s no explaining it. God, because after I saw the video, I didn’t know what it looked like. I just figured I was in a tornado.”
Even though the soda machine fell over, the huge tornado simply passed over her and for some miraculous reason, did not harm her. It was over within seconds. The store was almost completely destroyed by the tornado. Security cameras placed inside the store also show the extent of the damage and the power the tornado had.
After he saw the footage, Sagona was left dumbfounded, and decided the world should know about it. He says he did not know Kyra before the tornado — but now, they share a bond he says the two will never forget. He also presented Kyra with a T-shirt when they met a few days ago.
“That was awesome within itself, but the most amazing thing to me in this whole story is after she composes herself she goes and finishes her route for the day.”
[Image by David Sagona/Facebook]