‘A blessing being alive right now’ Putnam County student shares tornado survival story


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Putnam County teenager is lucky to be alive after last week’s EF-4 tornado flattened his home and destroyed his Cookeville neighborhood.

“A lot of people have said that I got knocked out,” said Rex Davis, a sophomore at Upperman High School.

The scratches on Rex’s face are a painful reminder of what happened to his Cookeville home.

“Everything started shaking and then I heard a loud whistle and then I don’t remember anything else,” Davis said.

Then, when he finally opened his eyes again, Rex tried to get out of the rubble. One of his dogs saw him pushing the wall. The dog ran into it, formed a little hole and they walked out together.

“I just felt the cold rain hitting me and I was like, oh, did this just really happen?” Davis said.

The home where lifelong memories were made was flattened. The young basketball star is trying to redefine the word “normal.”

“Definitely a blessing being alive right now,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of other people that don’t have their family members.”

The high school student is getting by with a little help from his friends.

“When I walked into the locker room for the first time, all I got was hugs,” he said. “I was like they are here for me and I’m so glad they are too because they are basically family for me.”

Rex says his family’s insurance is covering the cost of renting a temporary home for a year. They plan to build a new home.

18 people were killed in Putnam County, the worst disaster ever recorded in the county’s history. A tornado relief fund has been set up for those impacted by the storm. You can learn more about it by clicking HERE.

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