Sangaree remembers Mother's Day tornado

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - It was 15 years ago when a tornado ripped through the Sangaree subdivision. Winds exceeded 100 miles per hour when the tornado tore through the town on Mother's Day.

One person was killed; ten others were injured.

David Wilkes knows the unpredictability of tornadoes and says the devastation in Oklahoma brings back many memories, especially his family's escape.

"It looked like it was coming this way. We all jumped in different cars going down the road."

He said his family headed to his mother-in-law's house when the storm hit. It was there that they experienced the twister's powerful force once they got inside to safety.

"As we pulled up in the yard and got out, the wind got up under the truck and picked the truck up took it 100 feet away and dropped it down through a tree," Wilkes said.

Fortunately for Wilkes, his house on Frankie Lane had only minor damage. The tornado destroyed five homes and damaged dozens of others throughout the community, though.

"You knew Hugo was coming through and knew it was going to be bad, but with a tornado you have no idea where it's going or what it's going to do," he said.

Jessica Exum also lives on Frankie Lane and says she sat through the twister because she didn't have a choice.

"It sounded like a freight train," she said. "We went to get out of the door at the very beginning and there was so much pressure we couldn't even get out the door."

She recalls hunkering down in her hallway with kids who feared for their lives.

"My daughter was just sitting there screaming she was probably seven at the time and she kept saying we are going to die," Exum said.

They all escaped unscathed and had no loss to their homes, but Exum says she can understand on a much smaller scale what Oklahoma is going through.