Diana Dougherty was lying in bed with a broken leg when she heard her 18-year-old son screaming about the terrible noise.
"He grabbed hold of me, pulled me in the closet, closed the door, and the roof and the rest of the house blew away," she said. "The bed I was on _ the whole wall, the bricks, just fell on the bed and crushed it."
Almost all of the house was carried away by the swirling winds, but Mrs. Dougherty and her son, Mike, escaped serious injury in the closet of their Pinellas Park home. Mrs. Dougherty is convinced that she owes her life to her son.
"I would have been dead," she said Sunday.
The Dougherty's extraordinary tale of survival is just one of many that emerged Sunday as Pinellas residents were left wondering how so many had escaped death or serious injury.