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She was on FaceTime with her mom when the tornado struck in Kentucky

'It picked me up and threw me out of the house'

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Downed trees. Fallen power lines. Destroyed homes. Residents in Bowling Green were left picking up the pieces left behind by a devastating tornado Saturday morning.

One family told their terrifying story to WHAS11 News as they stood in front of the rubble that once was their house.

Whitney (their last names were not immediately available) said she was on FaceTime with her mother, Angie, when the tornado struck. 

That's when her FaceTime went black.

"I was crying, trying to take care of my two children," Whitney said.

They said the storm sounded like a freight train.

"We [ran] downstairs because we heard the siren and then I heard something that sounded like a train," Angie said. "I got all of the kids in the basement...as soon as I handed Shawn my granddaughter -- as soon as I handed her to him, it picked me up and threw me out of the house."

The tornado also threw Angie's mother out of the house, Angie said. Her mother landed under a car and was taken to the hospital.

"As far as I know, she's still stable," Angie said.

Angie credited Shawn for spurring the family into action.

"You've got to stay up all night to protect your family," Shawn said.

After about 20 minutes, Whitney heard back from her mother. 

"She's alive, that's all matters," Whitney said.

Angie's leg was cut from the ordeal, but she said she resisted getting it inspected "because I'd rather people in critical condition be checked out first."

In the immediate aftermath, the family's dog, Phoebe, was missing, but they were able to locate her later. A cat was still missing as of Saturday morning.

National Weather Service officials said the damage in Bowling Green was consistent with that caused by an EF-3 tornado with winds of 150 mph.

Drone footage shows dozens of homes damaged in the area.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency, and said he expected at least 70 fatalities from the tornadoes, making it one of the "toughest days in the history of Kentucky."

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