Tornado hits North Carolina daycare, owner saves children within minutes of impact

State - Regional

CHARLOTTE, NC (CNN Newsource/KSEE/KGPE) – A quick-thinking daycare owner jumped into action when she saw a tornado was going to touch down in her neighborhood.

“I was terrified. I’m still shaking and overwhelmed,” Sherri Wellman said.

Sherri Wellman is reeling after storms ravaged her south Charlotte home.

“We were watching the news we saw that the tornado apparently was going to hit Providence High School within 3 minutes and Providence High School is just right here,” Wellman said.

But it’s not just where she lives, it’s where she runs a daycare for five children under two.

“I had two babies in my sunroom. Threw them in my son’s arms. Ran out to the playroom, my husband and I grabbed the others,” Wellman said.

To say this was a close call is an understatement. 

Wellman says three minutes later the roof collapsed right on top of where five babies had been sleeping.

“My husband was still on his way out of the room when he said the tree hit the playroom,” Wellman said.

They huddled together in one of the only areas that didn’t get hit.

“I was thanking God they were alive,” Wellman said.

This is all that’s left of the playroom.

“There was one– her bed is actually under there,” Wellman said. 

Sara Wright got a text about what happened and left work. 

She was speechless when she saw the house and her daughter Madelyn unharmed.

“It was probably the best thing I’ve ever felt in my life to hug on her again and then to hug Sherri because her family, they saved our children,” Wright said. 

A blessing.

“Tomorrow we’ll celebrate her being one which is a miracle that she’s here to do that,” Wright said.

Beating mother nature by minutes.

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