ADAIR COUNTY, Iowa -- Seth Wilson says if not for his crying daughter, his family may not have survived a tornado that killed their neighbor early Wednesday morning in Adair County.
74-year-old Linda Brownlee was killed and her 78-year-old husband Harold critically injured when the tornado hit their home around 1:30 am. The EF2 storm carried winds of 120-130 miles per hour as it tore a 4.8 mile path of destruction through the countryside.
The Wilson family lives about a quarter mile from the Brownlees. Seth Wilson says he was checking on his crying 18-month-old daughter when he heard the wind and looked outside to see debris flying.
"I looked out the window and seen stuff blowing around, so I told my wife 'It's time to go!' and at that time the noise started and she knew exactly what I was talking about and we headed for the basement," Wilson says.
He says the storm passed by in just a matter of minutes. As dawn broke the family found their yard littered with debris from the Brownlee home.
"If it had hit us as hard as it hit them, I might not be standing here," Wilson says.