Athens baby born during November tornado happy, healthy


ATHENS (WATE) – This week marks three months since an EF-2 tornado ripped through McMinn County. Amber Newman’s little girl was born just hours after the tornado tore apart the family’s home.

It’s quiet at the Newmans’ home off Highway 307, besides the babbling of birds, but that doesn’t make it easy to visit.

“It’s hard. Every time I come out here it just replays in my head what happened,” said Newman.

That night in November it was dark, raining, and a tornado with wind gusts around 135 miles per hour touched down. Newman says it’s a blessing she survived while rocking her little girl. She remembers very little.

Previous story: Baby born during McMinn County tornado

“When the floor was coming up I could hear my dad screaming,” she said.

Amber Newman and Ava
Amber Newman and Ava

Newman says she wants to wait until little Ava is old enough to understand.

“I haven’t really thought about what I’m going to say to her or how I’m going to tell her,” said Newman.

After recuperating at the hospital, the family has been taking things day by day.

“We’ve actually been doing so much better. I know that my face was bruised up. I was in a lot of pain and now it’s awesome. We’re all doing good,” added Newman.

The family plans to rebuild where their old home stood on Highway 307, though it may never feel just right.

“That was my home. This is where I grew up all my life. Now it’s like we’re just kind of stuck I guess,” said Newman.

The young mom says she’s so grateful the only things they lost that day in November were belongings and not their little miracle.

“She is growing so fast, she has such a personality on her. She’s smiling and laughing all the time. I can’t wait until she starts walking and talking,” added Newman.

If you’d like to help other homeowners who lost so much in this tornado, you can volunteer or make a financial donation to the United Way of McMinn and Meigs Counties by clicking here.

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