Woman gives birth during East Tennessee tornado


ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) – A McMinn County mother is recovering after giving birth following the tornado early Wednesday morning.

Family friend Des Ferguson said mother Amber Newman and baby Ava are doing fine, but Amber Newman has some bruises and other injuries. Most of her family was injured in the tornado.

β€œWe had 20 injured (in the tornado) and one brand new life. The Lord works in mysterious ways,” said McMinn County Mayor John Gentry during a press conference Wednesday.

Ferguson said she had texted Newman about the tornado around 1:30 p.m., shortly after WATE 6 Storm Team meteorologists Ken Weathers and Matt Hinkin had told people in Athens to get to their safe place. Ferguson said she told Newman to watch the news and that the storm was headed her way.

Newman’s mother told her to get to the bathroom, but it was already too late. Newman told Ferguson later that the house rolled a few times and when she opened her eyes, she and her family were down in an open field covered with debris.

Baby Ava was born at the hospital a short time later. She was due on December 6 and the family had just bought a bunch of baby items that are now destroyed.

Anyone who would like to donate items or money to the Newman family can contact the McMinn County Rescue Squad at 423- 745-6666.

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