PAINCOURTVILLE, LA (WAFB) - A woman who survived the Paincourtville EF3 tornado even though she was outside as winds reached 140 miles per hour shares her story. She was right outside Sagona's Hardware, whose surveillance system caught the entire thing on camera.
David Sagona said he's thankful to be alive. He owns Sagona's Hardware in Paincourtville, a building that's nothing but a mangled mesh of metal now.
Sagona made all his employees get in the bathrooms and upstairs in the offices and seconds later, "As I was closing the door to the bathroom, my side wall got sucked out. I actually saw the sidewall get sucked out," said Sagona.
This weekend, Sagona attempted to check his security cameras and if they happened to catch anything. What he found surprised him --- a FedEx delivery woman stuck outside as the tornado passed directly over them.
In the video, you can see a lady come up to the doors, pull on them and they're locked. You see debris beginning to fly and seconds later, what looks like a big explosion.
Kyra Johnson is that woman. She had just made her FedEx deliveries to Sagona's from the back door. She came out and looked up at the sky.
"I had never seen the sky swirl so pretty and it was gray, but it was scary so the first thing you think let me tape it, I want to show people," said Johnson.
Exactly two minutes later, it was right over her.
"I just braced myself right here between the Coke machine. It wasn't even holding on. It was just to brace myself," said Johnson.
That coke machine fell over.
"It just fell right in front of me. When it fell, I was like God what to do next? There's nothing else in front of me but I didn't move. That's how I'm still in shock how could all that happen in front of me and it was like a matrix or a bubble. He just wanted me to see. I'm going to put you here. I'm going to put you through it. It's ok but you're going to see some things," said Johnson.
How she survived?
"God, there's no explaining it. God, because after I saw the video, I didn't know what it looked like. I just figured I was in a tornado," said Johnson.
Sagona did not know Johnson prior to this incident. Now he says God truly had her in his hands creating a bond they will never forget.
After the storm had passed Ms. Johnson rushed into the store to check on the employees in the store to make sure they were okay.
"That was awesome within itself, but the most amazing thing to me in this whole story is after she composes herself she goes and finishes her route for the day," said Sagona.