Coping with the Aftermath: Johns Island Tornado Survivor Shares Story

     A faint fall breeze blew through John’s Island Saturday, but nothing like the force of nature that bent street posts and snapped trees Friday.
     The National Weather Service said the EF-2 tornado sustained winds up to 130 miles per hour. No one was harmed, but Cynthia Winkler was home with her husband when tornado ripped the roof off. “He was getting ready to watch the weather in the satellite went out and then within seconds it was here,” said Cynthia Winkler, “it was on us.”
     Neither Winkler nor her husband said they received a weather alert on their smart phones. They lied helplessly on the living room floor as roof peeled back ‘like a can opener’ and the rain came in.
     Saturday morning, the smell of mildew was rampant in Cynthia’s home – now covered with a tarp. “It’s just not my home anymore,” said Winkler.
     The steel roof lies in a crumble in her backyard, insulation hangs like Spanish moss virtually everywhere. “Everybody thought it was chicken feathers,” said Winkler
     Winkler’s chickens and dogs made it out of the tornado unharmed, but now Cynthia is tasked with rebuilding. Something difficult since she does not have insurance. “Hurricanes yes, tornadoes no,” said Winkler, “I just never thought there’d be a tornado in Charleston.”
     Winkler owns the land she builds on and says her neighbors are helping her in the beginning steps. “This is my home,” said Winkler, “I’m not going anywhere we’re just going to have to stick it out.”

To help Cynthia Winkler rebuild her home click here.

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