Tennessee tornado survivor talks about brush with death

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. – Tennessee residents are coping with deaths, injuries and massive devastation after this week’s deadly storms.

Two powerful tornadoes with wind speeds of up to 175 miles per hour caused widespread destruction and killed at least 24 people.

At least five children were among victims.

The National Weather Service says one of the twisters was an E-F 4 tornado that hit Putnam County.

One survivor there is speaking out about her brush with death.

Amanda Randolph walks us through the mud, through the mess, through the dozens of volunteers using chain saws, cleaning up her home, after a tornado chewed through the neighborhood.

“I was right here,” said Randolph. "So, I don’t know how I got out. I don’t know how I survived.”

A tree narrowly missing her as she sat in this now unrecognizable, smashed black honda.

“The sky was gray and then a green color and I could feel my whole car shaking and it sounded like a freight train,” said Randolph. "It’s exactly the way they say it is. It happened so fast no warning.”

Suffering a few broken ribs, she’s without a car, her belongings — but this brush with death put her life in perspective.

Like so many of us do, Amanda had been going through a rough time.

“I’ve gotten to this point in life where everything has gotten really hard lately. I’m newly divorced, I’ve got three kids. I’m just trying to learn how this divorce thing works,” said Randolph.

She thought she had reached a breaking point.

“I just don’t know how much more I can take. It’s hard. It’s really hard. That day, in particular, I would’ve just been ok with not existing,” said Randolph.

But in the moment she thought her life could be over, there was clarity.

“And sitting in my car that night I just didn’t want to die so bad,” said Randolph.

She knew her children, her life was worth believing in.

“I’m so grateful for whatever was looking out for me because I wouldn’t be here without it,” said Randolph.

The storms also knocked out power for thousands and forced schools to shut down.