Whole Roofs Just Exploded

The deadliest twisters in a decade claim at least 86 lives

Betty and Sonny Gosnell were just sitting down in their living room with an insurance agent to sign a policy for health coverage when the twilight turned pitch-black and a dreadful noise broke the evening stillness. "It sounded like a big, huge-engined train coming," recalled Mrs. Gosnell. "Then you heard things around you crumbling, snapping. It sounded like popcorn popping."

In an instant, the tornado was upon them. Unable to reach their basement because of the glass shards whipping through the air, the Gosnells huddled on the floor. By the time the storm abated, a stop sign poked through the ceiling...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!