Attala County native Diane Burden’s home was damaged by storms last Wednesday, March 30, in the Dossville area while she was home alone.
Burden, who works at Mom and Pop Flower Shop, started putting up all of the fresh produce and flowers before the storm around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Unfortunately, by the time Burden got home the storm was headed in her direction.
Burden said she survived the storm because God protected her.
“There is a saying in the Bible that says, ‘By the grace of God, go I.’ If you don’t believe in God, you better,” she said. “In Wednesday’s storm that hit Dossville, the tornado hit where I live. By the grace of God, I’m still here. Can you imagine the power of God? I can. He pulled me through the tornado that could have taken everything in its path including me.” Burden wrote in a Facebook post.
Burden attempted to leave her residence but was met with strong winds when she tried to open her front door.
“I had planned to leave and go to mother’s house, but when I opened the door, the wind slammed it shut, and I knew I was in a tornado,” she told The Star-Herald.
While Burden was alone during the storm, she said she started praying and suddenly felt a weight lift off her shoulders. She said she knew if it was her time to leave this earth, that it was God’s plan.
According to Burden, it was almost as if the tornado just jumped passed her house, leaving trees and other debris behind.
“It felt like the floors were moving, and then I heard the trees fall,” she recalled.
One of the trees that fell onto Burden’s house landed right where her bedroom is located, close to the front of her house. At the time, Burden was in the back of her house in her kitchen when the trees fell.
In that moment, Burden said she was scared for her life. But as she prayed, she said she felt protected. She said it was as if her son Charles, who passed away four years ago, was there in spirit protecting her.
“There was no damage to the inside of the house,” she said. “One photo fell off the wall, which was a picture of Ila, Charles’s daughter, but the picture didn’t break.”
Burden got power back at her home March 31st a day after the storm and was able to have a good night rest in her home.
“All I can say is I am blessed to be here, and that was some of the best sleep I have ever had.”
After the storm, Burden decided she would leave her home and go check on her mother, Reba Heffner, who also lives in the same area. While trying to leave, Burden realized she was pinned in by the trees that fell from the tornado.
“I waited in my car for a while and then all of sudden I saw headlights, and sure enough it was my mom and Greg.”
Greg Maraman, Burden’s sister, and mother were able to get to her and take her to safety.
Burden’s granddaughter, Ila Burden, made the mile walk to her grandmother’s house after the storm to check on her. The family was united.
“She reminds me so much of Charles,” Burden said while talking about her granddaughter.
The next morning, the community of Dossville and Jake and Julie Newsom, Burden’s nephew and niece, helped clean up the storm damage. Burden also received help from her brother, Max Heffner.
“Next time there is a storm like that I’m just going to drive as far away as I can,” she said. “I was safer in my car than I was in the house.”
Burden who has two tags one in honor of her son Charles and the other for her husband David who have both passed, said she knew she was spiritually protected.
Burden also wanted to thank her sisters Debbie Crowson, Cindy Newson, Micheal Banks, and Michelle Maraman for being there and all of the family members that checked on her.