Press "Enter" to skip to content

Gunters count their many blessings

By Kay S. Pedrotti As Patti and Marty Gunter tell the story of ‘that night’ — April 28, 2011 — she had to fight tears and the listeners got chills. Now in a new residence with acreage on Bush Road, they take care of 9-year-old Chloe Gunter because she and Marty lost both parents in the EF3 tornado. Trying to get to secure shelter, Marty and Patti were stopped by fierce winds and flying debris. They were knocked to the floor of their Grove Street home’s lower level, then felt the floor lift and tilt. ’We don’t know whether we slid off the floor or it flipped and dumped us but it wound up on top of Paul and Ellen’s house, upside down,’ Patti said. As soon as they could get up, Marty began yelling for his parents and Chloe and heard Chloe calling for him. He found her by lightning-flashes and the three sheltered from the rain in Marty’s truck. Then he got out and ‘hollered some more,’ Marty said. ’I called out for everybody, Uncle Danny, Gabe, Paw-Paw, and I thought I heard Gabe answer,’ he said. ‘Then there was nothing but silence.’ He recalls seeing rescue workers ‘climbing a mountain of trees’ to carry Dan Gunter out on a stretcher. He and grandson Gabe had been thrown out of their house in the Gunter Lane compound back to a creek bed more than 100 yards from the house. All of them suffered injuries — Marty, Patti and Chloe all went to the hospital together, generating rumors they were missing. The worst blow was the realization that Paul and Ellen Gunter had been killed in the storm. Dr. Olin Gunter, Paul and Dan’s father, survived his injuries and lives now with Dan. The Grove Street front five acres has been mostly cleared, Dan says, but the back three acres still has 500 to 1,000 downed trees on it. Gabe has returned to his Alabama home to be ‘the man of the house’ while his dad, Ernest Gunter, is serving in Afghanistan. Dan is buying a home in Barnesville but plans eventually to return to Grove Street. Marty and Patti could not. ’The first, the very first time, we went back to Grove Street and looked at where the houses were we know we could never go back. There’s just too many memories,’ Marty said.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Website by - Copyright 2021