Two people dead after tornados in Benton County

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

BENTON COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - Two people in Benton County, Mississippi are dead after overnight tornados touched down Sunday, leaving a path of devastation in its wake.

Terance and Trajon Cowan spent Sunday searching the rubble for memories.

"Took everything," Terance Cowan said.  "Just took everything."

A tornado ripped Thomas Cowan, 26, and his girlfriend Latoya Long, 25, from their bed.  Cowan's father, Thomas Cowan, Sr, was somehow able to walk away from the tangled mess.

"My brother and his girlfriend are gone," Terance Cowan said.

"They found him in the ditch over there," Trajon Cowan said.  "They found her over there by the roadway."

Family members said the three were asleep at the time the tornado struck.  They searched the debris and found the drivers license of all three people who were inside the home.  

"It's just really hard to put into words when you lose somebody like that," Trajon Cowan.  "I'm just going to miss him.  He was like a daddy to me."

Trajon Cowan said he did not know how he would go on without his brother.

"My life probably won't ever be the same without my big brother," he said.

The family said nothing can ever make up for the huge loss.

Horace Pipler, Jr. said his parents miraculously survived the tornado.

"I got a call at about 3 this morning.  My little sister said our house is gone," Pipler said.  "I said, 'where are mom and dad at?'"

While everything around them was destroyed, Pipler's parents managed to survive by seeking shelter in a bathtub.

"They just got a couple of bruises and a couple of scratches on them," Pipler said.  "They were upstairs, they came downstairs, and as soon as they got into the tub it took them."

Pipler said the tornado dropped his parents in the yard.

"The whole bathtub just picked them up and took them," Pipler said.

Eric Pipler said he was thankful his parents survived.

"When I first seen them, I just broke down in tears," he said.  "I just couldn't believe it."

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