April 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM ET
The dozen tornadoes that tore through Lancaster, Texas on Tuesday peeled roofs off homes and tossed big rigs into the air, but a puppy named Brownie made it through the storm just fine. NBCDFW 5 reporter Amanda Guerra rescued Brownie from the debris and was able to reunite him with his owner after the storm.
Guerra told TODAY.com that she arrived in Lancaster around 3:30 am local time after the tornadoes struck, and as the sun came up she realized just how bad the destruction was. “There was one house that had two cars slammed into it. The tornado was so strong that everything inside the house, all of the furniture, had been blown out.”
Among the splintered wood, nails and broken glass was 10-month-old Brownie, hopping around. “Brownie was so cute and he looked pretty happy but you could tell he’d spent the night outside," Guerra said. "He was wet and dirty, but you knew he belonged to someone because he had all his tags. We cornered him, picked him up and got him into our arms.”
Guerra tracked down Brownie’s owner, Rosie Young, through the numbers on Brownie’s tags. Young was at a roadblock only 100 yards away. “As soon as Brownie saw her he started wagging his tail and you could tell he was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is mom!’”
Young had left Brownie at home before the tornado struck to go to a funeral. Thinking she’d only be gone a few hours, she left Brownie in his cage outside with food and water. “Little did she know,” Guerra said, “a couple hours later a tornado was going to rip through her home.”
While the residents of Lancaster knew there was a slight risk the day of the tornado, none could have predicted the sheer number that would rip through the town. Guerra herself said she was just reporting regular stories that day. When the tornadoes started hitting, she was in a dress shop doing a story on prom dresses.
Guerra said it was a miracle Brownie survived. “We’ve heard incredible stories from these tornadoes that literally picked up trailer houses with people inside and tossed them 75 yards, and we saw that amazing video of the tractor-trailers twisting around in the air. That something didn’t hit him and ultimately result in his death, that he was able to land somewhere, in the same neighborhood, and was just fine, unharmed and just a little dirty, is an absolute miracle.” See Guerra's original report here.
TODAY.com contributor Jillian Eugenios wishes she could've interviewed Brownie to find out how he got out of his cage, and what it felt like for him to be tossed up into the air and then set back down.
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