BROOKLET, Ga. – After an EF-2 tornado ravaged parts of Effingham and Bulloch counties on Thursday, families are still feeling, mentally and physically, the pain of the natural disaster. Six homes were destroyed or damaged.
The Hagans family of Brooklet found themselves among those six. They shared their story exclusively to WSAV.
“It was a nightmare,” Shane Hagans said.
Hagans, 43, and his mother Charlene, 66, were hiding in the bathroom of their trailer when the twister struck.
“I could just feel it slinging me everywhere,” Shane said.
In a matter of minutes, their lives changed forever.
“I could feel the roof just totally coming off,” Charlene said.
After the storm passed, Shane tried to wiggle his way out of the debris. The storm lifted their trailer up and off the ground and tossed it, with them inside, into the backyard.
“I just started crying. ‘Help! help,'” Shane said.
His call for help was answered by a team of first responders. Bulloch County Sheriff Sergeant Tracy Miller was first to arrive early Thursday morning.
“It’s just an awful sight,” Miller said.
Miller later assisted by E.M.S. responders were able to rescue the Hagans and send them off for treatment and care in Statesboro and Savannah. They suffered broken bones, lacerations, a collapsed lung and major cuts to their bodies.
On Friday, less than a day after arriving home from the hospital, Miller and the Hagans were able to meet with Sgt. Miller.
“If it would have been for Tracy right there, we wouldn’t have made it,” Shane said.
Charlene Hagans now refers to Sgt. Miller as their “angel.”
The Hagans are grateful for their neighbors, first responders, Lowes Home Improvement, and family for their love and support in the early aftermath of the storm.
If you are interested in helping the Hagans rebuild, you are encouraged to donate money or items to the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia, Bulloch County V.O.A.D., Merle Norman in Statesboro and Farmers and Merchants in Statesboro.
To learn more about direct and immediate needs contact Amy Hagans, at (912) 687-1521.