Manchester residents survive deadly tornado on duck hunting trip in West Tennessee

Brett Harris and a group of friends from Coffee County were in Lake County, Tennessee Friday night / Saturday morning, Dec. 10-11, on a duck hunting trip when a tornado ravaged the lodge they were staying in. According to Harris, the group was holding onto the toilet that you can see pictured almost right in the middle of this photo. Remarkably, the entire group survived. — Photo provided.

Thankfully, Coffee County was spared any storm damage from the 22-tornado outbreak that hit Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky over the past weekend.

But some Coffee County residents had to fight to survive the deadly storms while on a trip.

Brett Harris, a 2010 Central High School graduate, was on a duck hunting trip with friends in Lake County – the far northwestern tip of the state – when a tornado ripped through and devastated the area. Two deaths were reported in the rural Lake County, that has a population of just around 7,500.

In a TV interview with WSMV, Harris said: “It turned and came right for us. We started grabbing mattresses and pillows and couch cushions. We had a mattress on top of us everybody was holding on to it. And it took it like a baseball card. Gone. Ripped it out of our hands.”

Harris said the group took cover in the bathroom and the walls were ripped from around them.

“We kind of went sliding off into the yard and all you can do is grab onto each other and pray.”

The lodge Harris and his friends were staying at was a total loss. Luckily, everyone in his group survived and went about checking on others in the nearby area.

Harris is going to be a guest on the Thunder Radio Morning Show Wednesday, Dec. 15. The Morning Show airs from 6:30-8 a.m. on 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, 106.7 FM, on the Manchester Go app and at thunder1320.com.