Alto couple rides out tornado in pick-up truck

Alto couple rides out tornado in pick-up truck

ALTO, TX (KLTV) - An Alto couple rode out not one, but two tornadoes on Saturday.

The Buckingham family decided to leave their damaged home after the first tornado hit Alto, believing they would be safer. Instead they found themselves riding out a tornado in the floorboard of their pickup.

“I heard the glass shattering, and my husband told me to take cover and get in the closet. We got in the closet, and we rode it out there," Donna Buckingham said.

That was just the first tornado, then Donna Buckingham said her family heard the second storm was going to be bad enough that they should leave the area. “Everybody started calling and telling us to go south, and when we got in the truck, I told my husband we only have three minutes, we have to hurry up and go,” Buckingham said.

However, three minutes was too long to wait.

“We got in the floorboard, and he put his body on top of my body to shield me from the glass, and all the glass just got on him,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham said she considers it a blessing that they made it back home safely, and when the clouds finally cleared, the damage was unavoidable.

"The windows on the outside are shattered and limbs are on the roof; its damaged,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham lost one horse, but she says her appaloosa is a survivor.

“I guess he sensed it because he ran in the bushes; he took cover himself,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham and her husband were able to find some help at the American Red Cross assistance center in Alto.

The Buckinghams say they will be staying in a motel until their home is deemed safe.

The American Red Cross says if you are wanting to donate or volunteer, head to the command center at the Alto Community Fellowship Church, which is located in the 500 block of Marcus Street.

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