Some still picking up the pieces after Twin Lakes tornado

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- Storm cleanup continues in Twin Lakes, nearly a week after an EF 1 tornado tore through Cass County, Michigan.

Josephine Fowler purchased a home in Twin Lakes back in 2016. She tells ABC57 a previous owner put an illegal addition on the home, making it uninsurable.

Fowler said she and her husband put in years of work and updates to try to change that, and the process was close to complete. After the tornado, that dream collapsed, along with their house, leaving tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

"We don't know what happens next," Fowler said. "I'm 40 years old, and we are homeless and starting over."

Fowler was in the basement with her kids as the storms rolled through. She thought the worst of the weather had passed, but then heard a chilling noise that continued to keep her awake at night.

"There was this monstrous howling. And then it went dead silent. And then I heard my kids screaming. And then the house collapsing."

The family was trapped inside for nearly an hour before firefighters helped them out a window. Looking at the damage, what struck her was how close her son came to tragedy as a tree pierced in through his bedroom.

He was sitting on his bed five minutes before we went downstairs," Fowler explained. "Had we not gotten the alerts on our phone, he would have been in his room playing guitar. That terror of knowing like, 'oh my god, my child would have died.'"

Fortunately, everyone made it out safely. However, nearly everything inside the house was considered crushed until Monday morning. Somehow, Fowler's son's Queen guitar, the one he was playing minutes before the tornado hit, made it through too.

"I sent my son a text message today at school and I told him, 'It survived.' And he was in tears," Fowler said.

The community has really shown up for the Fowler and her family. They hadn't been able to even get close to their house because of all the debris, but that was cleared by volunteers on Monday.

There is still a long role ahead for many in Twin Lakes, including Fowler. To donate to a GoFundMe that will benefit Fowler and her family, click here.

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