Father, son survived tornado: 'I had to save him,' dad says
Brian Poe and son, Tanner, 15, took cover in a ditch Wednesday as a tornado swept through Apison, Tennessee.
April 30th, 2011
08:47 PM ET

Father, son survived tornado: 'I had to save him,' dad says

Thanks to quick thinking, a father and son in Apison, Tennessee, survived a tornado that slammed the small town during the violent storms that ravaged the Southeast on Wednesday.

As the violent storm system barreled toward Brian Poe and other residents in a span of mobile homes,  just after 8 o'clock, there was precious little time to act, he told CNN's Susan Candiotti.

“I was laying on the couch watching TV, about to sleep and my neighbor called me and told me: ‘It’s coming. Get out of the trailer. It’s coming.”

Poe said he stepped outside his mobile home, summoning his son, 15-year-old Tanner, just as the storm was bearing down on them.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-4 tornado with winds of 174 mph tore through Catoosa County in northwestern Georgia and into southeastern Tennessee. The same tornado that hit Apison had also struck Ringgold, Georgia, about 15 miles to the south, leaving seven dead.

“I kind of walked out and I heard it coming,” Poe said. With raging winds around them, Brian and Tanner Poe darted to a roadside ditch.

“The only thing I could think of was my son … I had to save him,” Poe said.

The only thing the two could do was hold on for dear life, Tanner said.

“Me and Dad were hugging each other laying face down,” Tanner said. “[The storm] was lifting us off the ground." A tree fell on the pair, injuring Brian Poe's back "and the wind pulled it off of us,” Tanner said.

Wednesday was the deadliest day for tornadoes since a 1925 tornado outbreak that killed more than 700 people in seven states, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Saturday on its website.

Poe said he lost several family members in the storm, which has left thousands of people homeless and killed more than 300 people.

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Filed under: Alabama • Tennessee • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Gerbil pelt is now toupee

    Devasting winds very sad.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Who cAres

    Great now his dad will be in disability for the rest of his life. Actually considering he lived in a trailer park he probably already was

    May 1, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubbles

      You are an a$$!!!

      May 1, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
    • jack

      "disability for the rest of his life".....did you even read the article?

      May 1, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey

    @ IT:
    What do you mean by that?
    They escaped with their lives.
    Do you mean that they should have died because they were poor?
    What is wrong with you?
    Are you an addict? What is your DOC?
    People in this nation have abdicated the responsibility to think logically, and to behave decently.
    FORGET manners.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • jennifer

      This weather event was horrible and left massive amounts of destruction. How can people come hear and leave horrible remarks. Maybe the victims weren't financialy wealthy but if acting like a Dick is a symptom of wealth, I will take poor anyday. Hope these losers find god and pray hard because hells fury is much worse than mother natures. People have some compassion, stop being do judgemental.
      Prayers go out to all the survivors.

      May 1, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • hypocrits-R-us

      @jennifer-My heartfelt thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by these devastating storms. But please people..if ur going to come on here to preach about "judging people", u need to practice what u preach. U can't call someone a dick and loser, then criticize others for "judging",,,it just doesn't make sense. It would be nice if all these "preachers" could be more humble with themselves and others...no matter how different u are...Oh and...fyi... hells fury and mother nature are the same thing..all is natural occurances..its been happening for millions of

      May 1, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey

    Yesterday, deluded bigots drowning in a perversion of egalitarianism attacked me for telling the truth about why the wedding of an heir to the throne of Great Britain was not bumped from the news to please those bigots in their hatred.
    Nothing such persons can say to me will make me regret being who I am, and it will not prevent their being who they are.
    If you don't want Great Britain to have a monarchy, bring it down.
    If you don't want Great Britain to exist, declare war on it and conquer it.
    "Roar Like a Mouse!"
    Go ahead: I want to watch.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Eva

    While I do see your point, I'm not really sure why you're saying that HERE... Tornadoes and the Royal Wedding, not quite the same thing. 😉

    May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. God Bless

    So sad to hear but happy to hear they escaped with there lives... Plesae lord forgive the ignorant people...

    May 1, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    @ Eva:
    Your topical semantics fail to silence me.
    These two news items have been linked by hate-filled bigots since they chose the tornadoes as an excuse to attack both the British monarchy and the history of Great Britain.
    The bigots opened the door.
    You can't shut me up with your self-made rules.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. God Bless

    @Eva... Idon't understand what the royal wedding have to do with this story...but if it has to do with Joey's comments there is a time and place for that but it's not the time and place!!!

    May 1, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey

    @ Who cAres:
    Some persons actually are disabled; that's why the program exists.
    I agree with you that it is often abused.
    I disagree with the posture indicate by your choice of a nom-de-plume.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      hey, why don't you take a step back, take a deep breath, and focus on grammar first. I know how eager you are to impress us all with your vast vocabulary, but the grammar issues betray your actual level of affluence.

      May 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey

    Indicated, not indicate.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey

    @ God Bless:
    I explained to Eva (above) why bigots had made a continuation of their linkage appropriate.
    And "God Bless," you don't tell me what is a time or place for anything.
    This country has freedom of speech, and you are not any kind or arbiter of others' manners with your attempts at intimidation.
    "Time and place" indeed!

    May 1, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey

    There is nothing wrong with wealth.
    It is always a result of somebody's extremely hard work, or of brilliance.
    Poverty is a poor goal.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • eufauxria

      Yes the white collar folk who lived comfortably off their embezzlements, tax frauds and Ponzi schemes who are sitting in prison right now are relishing in their brilliance. x_x

      May 1, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      Yes having your parents hand you money with no responsibility, tough work. It's not like these elitist brats are Andrew Carnegie, Flagler, or even Eli Whitney, or Bill Gates. Most of the recipients of wealth today are brats. The only problem is the only way today's spoiled rich brats could have saved the world is to make a human chain of themselves, naturally, and stand in front of those tornadoes.

      May 1, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Hard work and stealing the labors of others will make you rich.

      May 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sherry

    Reading some of these comments makes me ashamed to be an American. Karma is real and some folks should be VERY AFRAID! God Bless and keep safe all of the surviors of this terrible tradgedy. Please know how many of us are praying for you.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • carla

      Never be ashamed to be an American Sherry, feel bad that THESE people are Americans.

      May 1, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    While I have great compassion for those who are poor and always help them as much as I can, I abhor failure.
    To erect failure as an ideal is ridiculous.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. holy spirit

    @Joey Is your goal to be part of the Westboro Baptist Church or are you already a member? Is Hitler your role model?

    May 1, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
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