Adair County Father Says Restless Toddler Helped Get Family to Safety During Tornado

Data pix.

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.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.