Jessica Bates wiped away tears as she surveyed what was left of the Silver Creek Mini Mart on Rockmart Highway in Floyd County.
"Words can't describe it, especially today, coming back looking at it, it's unreal. I just feel very lucky," said Bates.
Bates was inside the convenience store Monday evening when straight-line winds blew through Floyd County and caused extensive damage.
"I felt all that stuff start coming off that wall, all those cigarettes and stuff hit me in the face. It was like the wind caught me and pushed me all the way back up to the cooler door," said Bates.
Bates said she had just paid for her groceries when it happened. She and the cashier ran for safety inside one of the store's coolers.
"And when I got the cooler door open, I looked and the roof and everything in it was gone," said Bates. "There was nothing in there but one wall to hang on to, so I just kind of bear hugged around her and we just held onto the wall."
While they held on for dear life, Bates' uncle, Jimmy Vasser, sat in the passenger seat of her car that was parked in front of the store. Vasser said the wind lifted the car.
"It all went up and to the right like a vacuum cleaner just sucked it up," said Vasser. "When the car sat back down, I looked up and seen the roof of the store just go up, it just sucked it up. I seen chunks of bricks just flying and the walls and just everything just collapsed."
When the wind and rain stopped, Bates couldn't believe what she saw.
"I thought I was about to die, really I did," said Bates
Bates was taken to the hospital and had a piece of glass removed from her left knee.
Vasser walked away without any injuries.
"God was with me. That's the only thing. We were holding on to that wall praying the whole time," said Bates.
Bates is one of seven people injured during the storm that knocked out power to 3,000 Floyd County residents.
According to Floyd County Emergency Management, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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