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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Disaster in Joplin hits Clay County

Friday, May 27, 2011

Though it's approximately 500 miles away, the effects from the tornado outbreak that devastated the city of Joplin, Mo., Sunday, hit Clay County.

Nichole and Jeremy Williams live in Joplin. Nichole is the granddaughter of Don and Mary Lou Miller and Wayne and Evelyn Parkins. The Millers live in Brazil while the Parkins live in Knightsville.

Nichole's parents, Jim and Julie Miller, currently live in Florida. However, both attended Clay Community Schools.

This week, Mary Lou Miller, along with Wayne and Evelyn Parkins discussed the horror their granddaughter went through with The Brazil Times.

"They lost everything," Mary Lou said. "(Nichole) got a bump on the head, but it isn't anything serious."

Mary Lou said Nichole was watching television when the power went out. She turned on a radio and was informed of a tornado nearly two blocks away from their home.

Instantly, Nichole woke her husband Jeremy up and the two, along with their children, scurried to their basement.

"They were all in this bathroom," Mary Lou said. "(Their oldest child) was saying they were all in there praying when all of the sudden, she felt wind and rain. She looked down and her feet were on bare ground. The house had moved off the foundation.

"There wasn't a standing wall."

"It happened so quick, they just had time to get in the bathroom," Wayne Parkins said. "They crouched down on the floor. That's all the time they had. The main thing that saved them, when the ceiling came down, was the (bathroom sink) where they were at."

"That's the only thing that saved them from two ceilings that came down on them," Evelyn Parkins added.

Mary Lou said the family lives approximately one-mile away from the hospital that has been seen by thousands during television reports.

Both sets of grandparents have stayed in contact with Jim and Julie Miller to keep informed on how the family is doing.

"One minute, you go through this ordeal, then you crawl out from the rummage," Wayne said.

Prior to the storm, Nichole, Jeremy and their children lived in a four bedroom, two-story house. However, just one day after the outbreak, they went back to see what they could salvage.

"Another weather front came in," Mary Lou said. "They had to go back to a shelter. On Tuesday, they were able to go back."

Mary Lou said the house was in "bits and pieces." She said the family has been in touch with its insurance provider. In addition, she said the family is currently staying with a couple they met at church.

"They have had a lot of offers for a lot of help," Mary Lou said. "They are praising the Lord that they came through it. They have a lot of great friends."

"They have received a lot of help," Evelyn added.

Although the tally continues to rise, it is estimated that 132 people lost their lives during the category EF-5 tornado. Since 2007, six EF-5 tornados (Enhanced Fujita Scale) have been confirmed in the United States.

"We're sorry for the ones that didn't make it," Evelyn said. "But we're thankful that (the family) is safe. It's been really hard. They were praying all the time, but we're thankful."

"It's a sad situation, but they lived through it," Wayne said.

"It's unbelievable," Mary Lou said. "You just can't imagine. They just feel like the hand of God was there. To look at it, you just wonder how anybody could have gotten out of it.

"Things can be replaced. The main thing is, they all came out of it."

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This couple was on NBC Nightly News last night and the only coverage was on their dog, Betty. I'm glad Betty is alright, but I'm sure the interview with the Williams' included "giving God all the credit" that they survived. That seems to be a no-no, mentioning God. These are all God-fearing people and trust in the Lord. God was certainly with them all.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, May 27, 2011, at 10:00 PM

Praise GOD for the safety of this couple & their family. I go to church (Grace Chapel) with the grandparents of this couple. They give all the praise & glory to GOD. These grandparents are a very special couple to me. Thank You JESUS for letting me find a church home.

-- Posted by To God be the Glory on Mon, May 30, 2011, at 10:26 AM

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