Nash County couple who hid in their bathtub rebuild after EF3 tornado destroys home

A Navy veteran and his wife who lost their home during the summer due to devastation from an EF3 tornado are thankful this Thanksgiving season.

Michael Poythress and Debbie Moore have a new home exactly where their own home was thanks to the Twin County Tornado Fund, a collaboration between the United Way and Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce.

“They came forward and said, ‘We want to help you buy a new home,’” Poythress said.

The couple lived with Moore’s sister for three months.

“We have each other, and we have a new home,” Moore said.

The couple’s dog, Sabot, also survived the EF3 tornado on July 19. The couple hid in their bathtub.

“She was about 6 feet up when I pulled her back down,” Poythress recalled.

The tornado ripped off the roof of their home.

“It took about 15 seconds for everything to be stripped away from us,” Poythress said.

Moore is on oxygen and is down to 72 pounds with her health rapidly deteriorating. She said she was 85 pounds during the storm.

“I’m not doing well,” she said. “[I’m] continuing to lose weight.”

Poythress said odd items from their home survived, including their toaster, cast-iron pots and blender.

They found Poythress’ father’s memorial flag and two beloved pets they had cremated.

“There is nothing that can’t be replaced,” Poythress said. “I don’t look back, but I’m angry because everything got stripped for us.”

About 10 days after the tornado hit, the money from the couple’s homeowner’s insurance went out.

“[The] United Way significantly helped us by a new home,” Poythress said.

Friends and family also set up a GoFundMe for the couple. – Local News