Good Friday tornado became a blessing for one woman

Moline Acres, Mo.(KSDK) -- "This is my baby right here. That's one of my wish lists," said Diann Lairy as she referenced her new a jacuzzi bathtub.

Lairy is the first to admit, her wishes came true in the weirdest of ways.

About a year ago, the postal worker was working on a plan to renovate her 1960's home in the North St. Louis County city of Moline Acres.

"How much this gonna cost, how much that's gonna cost. How much overtime I'm going to have to do to pay for it, you know," said Lairy of her plans.

But those plans flew out the window when a maple tree smashed into her roof.

Diann was at at a family reunion in Mississippi on Good Friday when her son called from home.

"He said Momma, there's something going on here. I don't know what, it's dark, I'm scared," recalled Lairy.

He was okay, but the tornado hit the house she raised her three kids in.

"I was crying. I was upset. My house. My 30 years I've been here, my house is gone."

Michele DeShay is Mayor of Moline Acres..

"We had approximately 87 houses that was effected," said the mayor.

Eight of those were destroyed. A year later, under a skyline forever changed, there are a few eyesores, but the homes in the small city have mostly bounced back.

"Seventy five like actually complete and ready to go," said DeShay.

Insurance paid to repair Diann's damaged house. She just moved back in a few weeks ago.

"To think that I didn't have to take my money to do this house and I got it done maybe 200 percent better than what it was," said Lairy.

And she never once thought of leaving Moline Acres, especially after the support she got after the tornado.

"It made you proud to be a resident. It made you proud," she said.

Another silver lining to the storm, it inspired Moline Acres leaders to get more training like CPR to be even more prepared in emergency situations.


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