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Family credits faith and boys scouts for surviving Good Friday Tornadoes

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 00:09:36-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WTVF) — Ten years ago today dozens of tornadoes touched down in what's been called the Good Friday Tornadoes. Much of the damage was in the Murfreesboro area where an E-F-4 tornado touched down.

A mother and child were killed, nearly 60 others were hurt and several homes destroyed. One family credits their faith and Boy Scouts training for getting the family to safety.

"Ten years have already gone by, it just seems like that," said Mike Bickford, "There were power lines laying everywhere, you can smell gas, it was a warzone basically. "

A deadly EF-4 tornado tore through Middle Tennessee destroying everything in its path Bickford says it's a day he'll never forget.

"That afternoon, my son called me from work and he goes, 'dad, there's a tornado heading towards our house'," said Bickford.

Bickford raced to his Murfreesboro home to get to his wife and his son Sam, but little did Bickford know, his son already had a plan.

"He noticed that the sky was almost blurry blueish black, and the windows were kind of popping in and out and he knew something bad was going on," said Bickford.

Just months before the tornado, Bickford says Sam received his Boy Scouts merit badge for emergency preparedness. The family would practice their disaster plans on some nights, and on April 10th, 2009 it paid off.

"Down the hall they went, went in the closet and as soon as he got in the closet and shutting the door the house shifted," said Bickford.

The Bickford's made it out safely with just some bumps and bruises.

"I go back to give credit where credit is due and that is number one to God, and number two is to Sam's scouting career," said Bickford.

The family now has a new home with a storm shelter but old pictures remind Bickford just how lucky they are..

"I was very fortunate in that respect," said Bickford who urges all families to create a disaster plan.