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Bonner Springs family credits survival to concrete safe room

Posted: 3:06 PM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-31 18:36:49-04

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — There wasn’t much left of a Bonner Springs, Kansas family’s home after storms rolled through Tuesday night.

But one thing that did remain was their concrete safe-room, and it’s what they’re crediting for their survival.

41 Action News reporter Sarah Plake spoke with the family as they assessed the damage Wednesday.

"You can see everything around here and wonder how anybody is still alive," Travis Boatwright said.

Boatwright says the sound of a tornado hitting your house is one he never wants to hear again.

"It was a combination of two-by-fours in a blender and like a semi truck driving through your house," Boatwright said.

LISTEN: Kansas City shows resiliency after devastating tornadoes

And that's certainly what it looks like.

The family took cover in their concrete safe room under the house and were barely able to crawl out after it was all over. Rafters and parts of the home fell on top of their pool table and sectional couch, making a crawl space underneath.

Boatwright says it's amazing how three feet of concrete saved their lives.

"Just the sheer magnitude of everything going across the top of it. Literally I’m like three feet away from everything," Boatwright said.

Their dream house they built from the ground up is destroyed, but they're grateful for the friends and family who came out to help, and grateful for their lives.

"When they say to get in the ground, get in the ground. Go underneath because it’s real," Boatwright said.