Forney: Babysitting grandma hailed as tornado hero

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by TERESA WOODARD and JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 6:37 AM

Diamond Creek subdivision, Forney

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FORNEY — Some of the most unforgettable images and stories in Tuesday's North Texas tornado outbreak are coming from Forney, 23 miles east of Dallas in Kaufman County.

Two twisters damaged 73 homes in Forney; nearly a third of them were destroyed.

At one residence in the hard-hit Diamond Creek subdivision, a baby-sitting grandmother clung tenaciously to three children to keep them safe.

One resident collapsed in grief as he realized that nothing was left.

Lindsey Enochs' family lost everything except the most important thing — their 18-month-old son Lane.

"He has a scratch on his arm, but other than that... a little mud on his face... but other than that, he's okay," she said.

Neighbors captured frightening images of the approaching funnel cloud on their cell phones, but had no idea of the horror unfolding inside Enochs' home. Her mother was babysitting the her child and two other children.

They piled into a bathtub, and grandma became a hero.

"She held onto his feet — just by his feet — and the wind kept taking him, but she hung onto him, and he's fine... he's here," Enochs said.

The grandmother also saved the life of 19-month-old Abigail Jones.

"Grateful. Very grateful," said Misty Jones, the girl's mom. "Very glad I have her and my house to go home to tonight."

Jones said she tried for years to have a baby, until Abigail finally came along.

"Give daddy kisses," Andy Jones asked his daughter, who complied with what are without doubt the sweetest kisses the couple have ever received.

Misty Jones had a bad feeling when she heard that a tornado had touched down in Forney. "I just had that feeling," she said.

Both parents left work; Andy got to the sitter's first.

"I took off running across the field, and got to the house," he said. "And when I turned to the corner, I looked, and the house wasn't there."

"I thought everybody would be dead," he said. "There was only a couple rows of bricks and a foundation left. The whole house was gone."

Abigail was checked out in the emergency room at Texas Regional Medical Center at Sunnyvale.

"Bumps, bruises, knots," Misty said of her daughter's injuries. "They did a CT scan and everything came back okay. She's truly a blessing."

Back at Diamond Creek, residents were still in awe about what they had just witnessed.

"We seen the debris flying in the air and then all of a sudden we just see it coming," one resident said. "It was these homes that were just falling apart and everything."

There was also prayer.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am that we're all okay," Gloria Howard said.

But ultimately, there was joy.

"Yes, it was the worst thing that I've ever been through in my life," Lindsey Enochs said, turning to her son, "but I'm smiling now."

"It was a miracle," Andy Jones said. "[It] lets you know the Lord knows what he's doing."

Forney ISD's Crosby Elementary School was also damaged by the storm and will be closed to students and staff on Wednesday. The district will announce plans for the remainder of the week on Wednesday afternoon.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com and  jstjames@wfaa.com

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