Saturday, June 3, 2017

Security officer recalls surviving storm at Joy-Global near fallen dome

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LONGVIEW, TX June 3 2017
An East Texas security officer says she had a 'life flashing before her eyes' experience during Sunday's tornadoes.
The storm hit Joy-Global industries in Longview as security officer Leslie Higgs was on duty. She’s glad to be in one piece, after being right in the middle of the storm.
"I just got a text message from my husband saying 'be careful, the weather's really bad,'" she says.
Then she saw the storm coming in.
"I looked on for two seconds and I looked back up and it just started pouring down rain. And hail along with that," Higgs says.
The building began to rumble and shake.
"The windows in the post felt like they were fixing to bust in, so I was like, 'let me get under a desk', and then the power just went out," says Leslie.
Then she watched as the dome was torn off a nearby building.
"I had seen the rest of the building just cave in. Then I gathered myself for what I was going to do next, just jet to my car so I could get to the next safety area," says Higgs.
The wind was whipping against her car, and seeing all that was being ripped apart around her, she made what she thought might be her final phone call home.
"I was just really scared. Thinking to myself 'wow, I'm going to die. Let me just call my husband and tell him I love him one more time.' And I'm mid-conversation the phone just went out. I told them just to be strong if I'm not there. I thought about my kids and how they would be without a mom. And I'm like 'I can't let that happen,'" Higgs says.
Finally riding it out, she contacted her family.
"I went home and hugged my family for about an hour," says Leslie.
Higgs says she was not deterred by the experience. She was back for her regular shift the following day.

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