HIGH POINT, N.C. — Five years later and her emotions are still fresh. Emergency crews called Clauda Blair’s house in Blairwood “ground zero” after a tornado blew through the Piedmont March 28, 2010.
“Just people coming together in time of need, I’m still so humbled and grateful. Just everyone together in a time of need,” Blair told us while holding back tears.
It was around 7:30 p.m. that night. Blair and her family were watching the ACC Tournament. The family dog, Rambo, started shaking and acting strangely nervous. “We thought there was something really wrong with our dog, so my husband stayed home while my daughter and I went out to grab dinner and bring it back. By the time we got to the restaurant, my husband called and said he saw on TV that a tornado was headed straight for our neighborhood.”
Rambo went to the landing in their house, the area where you turn to go upstairs. “The dog wouldn’t budge at all from there, so that’s where they stayed. That landing is literally the center of the house. Dog is God spelled backwards and we really think God was leading them to stay in that safe place. Had they gone where my husband was trying to go, they definitely would have been seriously hurt, maybe even killed.”
The Blairs lost 80 percent of everything in their house that day. The tornado’s winds shoved the entire top half of the house over and pulled off the entire roof, all in under two minutes. Blair says it’s a miracle no one on her block was hurt.
“You realize life is so short,” said Blair. “It makes you realize you really should just enjoy what you want to do.”
Turns out the most devastating, scariest time in her life ended up inspiring her to do something she had long dreamed about. “I always worked in bookkeeping, but I really wanted to get my degree in accounting. After the tornado, I decided to go for it. I graduate from UNCG in May with my degree.”