'We took off running': Greenfield tornado survivor recalls life-saving actions before catastrophe struck

In the heart of Greenfield, Iowa, a monstrous tornado wreaked havoc on Tuesday afternoon, leaving a catastrophic scene in its wake. The twister tore directly through the town, situated 50 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iowa, and 350 miles west of Chicago.

Amidst the chaos, Shaye Newberry emerged as a heroic survivor whose quick actions saved not only her life but also the life of her child.

"I grabbed my baby, wrapped her in a blanket and we took off running," Newberry said in the wake of the destructive storm. She ended up taking refuge in a friend's basement with her friends and their children. They made it to the safe place with no time to spare.

"I felt the pressure change, and that's when I covered her son, and her fiancé said get down, so we all huddled together, and we all covered the kids," Newberry recalled.

Tornado survivor Shaye Newberry stands in a field of debris following a devastating tornado in Greenfield, Iowa, on May 21, 2024. (Brandon Clement/Wxchasing)

In that frightening moment, with the monstrous tornado just seconds away, she did something that she had never done before.

"This is the only time I have ever prayed in my life, and I didn't even get the words 'dear Lord' out before it was over."

A picture of the basement Shaye Newberry and others took shelter in as a tornado barreled through Greenfield, Iowa, on May 21, 2024. (Brandon Clement/WxChasing)

As the tornado ripped apart the house (above), a staircase fell on Newberry as she shielded everyone else, including the children, from debris.

Storm Chaser Brandon Clement was in Greenfield immediately following the tornado to talk to the survivors and captured startling images of what was left of the basement Newberry and others were sheltering in as the rest of the house was blown away by the intense winds.

"I was more concerned about getting everyone out, so we could get up to the hospital because my daughter was bleeding a little bit," Newberry said.

Newberry's husband was at work when he heard about the tornado, so he rushed home to the catastrophic scene.

"This is everything I've ever had." Colton Newberry said, but he was relieved that everyone was safe.

"They make more [stuff], they don't make more of them," he said as he pointed at his family.

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