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‘Thank God I’m Alive,’ Woman says radar-indicated tornado lifted home off the ground during Tropical Storm Isaias

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    Mardela Springs, MD (WJZ) — Three radar-indicated tornadoes were reported in the Lower Eastern Shore Tuesday morning as Tropical Storm Isaias made its way through Maryland, the National Weather Service said.

Joy Mitchell will never forget the most harrowing 10 minutes of her life. She was sound asleep when she got a weather alert on her phone.

“My phone woke me up. I went to the back door and I saw the wind lift a table up like Houdini, and I saw the tree in my backyard flapping around like a willow,” Mitchell told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “The house was moving the whole time and I didn’t realize it.”

Moments later, a tornado lifted her entire home off the ground. She believes a steel cable attaching the house to the foundation stopped it from flying across the road and saved her life.

“It was like putting on the brakes, and it just slammed me right to the ground. I could feel the house lift up and keep moving. I was shifted forward,” she said. “I couldn’t get up right away. It was like there was pressure holding me down. I’m just really thankful to be here, and I thank God.” was so powerful, the back of Mitchell’s house separated.

It was so powerful, it also ripped apart a motor home and pulled down trees by their roots. She remembers the first call she made after the storm passed—to her mother.

“I just wanted to let her know I was ok,” she said, her voice breaking. “I didn’t want her to hear it from anybody else.”

Friends came to help Mitchell pick up the pieces and salvage what they could. She moved into the house less than a month ago.

The community has raised more than $8,500 and counting to help Mitchell rebuild her life.

Lisa Layfield started a Facebook fundraiser.

“All I could think is what is she going to need. She’s always been that person to help raise money and do for others so it was only natural to immediately make sure we’re all here for her,” Layfield said. “I can’t even fathom having been in there and going through what she described. She’s lost everything. She just moved in there in July. If you see the inside of the house, it just looks looks like somebody shook it up and dragged it.”

Mitchell was checked out at the hospital and said she is still sore and bruised but is thankful for the community coming together to support her.

“People have a heart and care. I always say you do good and good will come back to you.”

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