Tornado victim: The roof literally exploded right off of us

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on October 7, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 7 at 2:02 PM

BELLEMONT, Ariz. -- Residents of the northern Arizona community of Bellemont are surveying the damage and salvaging what they can after a series of tornadoes touches down, wreaking havoc and destruction Wednesday.

One of those residents, Carlos Rojas, just moves to Bellemont with his young family a few weeks ago. He shared his harrowing story with 3TV"s Mike Watkiss.

As the first tornado hit Bellemont, which is west of Flagstaff, Rojas said he and his wife heard what sounded like a freight train and than an explosion that he compared to an IED in Iraq.

"It was a pretty familiar kind of sensation," he said. "At that moment, I looked up and the roof literally exploded right off of us."

Rojas said a piece of his neighbor's wall blew into the bedroom where he was with his wife and kids, ages 11 and 2. That piece of wall actually provided a bit of shelter for the family as the storm passed over them.

"We just held on to keep ourselves from getting sucked out of the home. Everything else in the room was sucked out and thrown out all over the fields," he said.

Rojas said while his kids are scared and a little banged up, none of his family was seriously hurt. Rojas, a Marine, and his wife, a Navy veteran, just moved here from San Diego with their family a few weeks ago.

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