Three-Year-Old Tells Experience of Joplin Tornado

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JOPLIN - Life is very different when you are three, but Morgan Farris knows all too well the word "tornado."

"It knocked over our house," said Morgan. "That was a nightmare." Of all the things she lost, she mostly misses her blankie.

"It just flewed out of my hands," she said. The near 200 mile-per-hour winds ripped it from her.

Morgan and her family are one of hundreds of Joplin residents displaced from the destruction of their homes now living with friends or family. She and her family are grateful to be alive and count anything they salvage as a bonus. They look for the good throughout the devastation.

Morgan and her family survived the tornado when her father Ken made a last minute decision to change their sheltered location from the laundry room at the center of the house to the crawlspace underneath their house. After the tornado had passed he couldn't believe his eyes.

"I decided that I was going to go out and survey the damages," said Ken Farris, Morgan's father. "You know, I thought maybe we would have a window out or the garage was the only thing taken. When I went out it was devastating."

Their block was leveled, their trees stripped, their cars swept away. In their moment of shock and devastation, members of their church came to their aid.

"We didn't realize that the storm had been as severe as it was until we started receiving phone calls and texts," said Daisy Crawford, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who, after the storm, searched for the Farris family.

"Daisy, when she come down the street yelling my wife's name, it was just like an answered prayer because we had no idea where we were going to go," said Ken Farris. "She said, 'everything is going to be fine we are going to take you to my house. We have power, you can take a bath' because we were very dirty from the storm."

"The devastation is total in a lot of areas, but there have been miraculous stories that have come out of almost every single person," said Crawford.

Today the two families are closer than ever before, in more ways than one. The Farris family is living with the Crawfords and until the Farris family moves to South Carolina early next week.

"While I went out and surveyed the damages and then went back under the crawl space I was crying," said Farris. "My little girl said 'Daddy, it's ok' and we said a prayer together under the house that, you know, those people that were affected that they would be ok."

Despite the tragedy, Morgan remains optimistic. At the age of three she says she handled the storm well and is glad she could support her family. "It makes me feel like a brave, super strong girl."