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COPE -- Ramona Wilson was just about to go to sleep Wednesday night when her cell phone went off, warning her about a tornado heading her way.

She’ll never forget what happened next.

"I got up at 12:30 a.m. and I looked in the sky and I saw something real dark, like it was moving or something," she said.

"I laid down. I started praying, praying, praying.

"Then I felt the trailer like, you know, shaking."

The wind from Tropical Storm Michael tore the metal roof from the Whisenhunt Road house, twisting it and tossing it 20 feet away.

On Thursday, a tired Wilson was just happy to be present.

"Thank God I got out of there alive," she said. "It was a horrible nightmare to me. I am not used to the country. I am a city girl.

“I am in amazement at the things that took place."

James Hair, who shares the house with Wilson and his brother, Ricky, said he felt the house lift up during the ordeal.

"We were blessed," Hair said. Michael “almost took the trailer."

Wilson and Hair are confident they survived a tornado, not just some down-burst.

"I looked at the window at the end of the mobile home," she said.

"All I saw was something dark and swirling around. I thought, ‘Oh my God!’

“All I could do was just get in bed and call on Jesus. I called on Jesus all night."

After the roof was torn out, the three residents had to sleep in the rain.

The home's utility connection was also destroyed, leaving the house in darkness.

Ricky was sleeping on a chair in the living room when the storm arrived.

"I keep hearing something," he said. "I did not know the tin was off the trailer. I never got up. I was trying to stay still because the trailer was trying to move. I was kind of spooky.”

Now Wilson does not know what the future may hold.

"It is a terrible situation," she said. "We don't know what is going to happen. The only thing I know is I have to find someplace to go."

The South Carolina United Methodist Volunteers in Missions Disaster Response Team was called in to assist the residents.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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