A grieving father has told how he texted his fiancee to say stay safe and watch out for the storm which just moments later destroyed their home killing her and their four month-old baby.
Kimberley Hilliard, 35, and baby girl Paris died when their home was destroyed by a tornado which ripped through the small town of Smithfield in Madison County, last week.
Miss Hilliard texted fiance Bobby Newman half an hour before the storm hit to say it was getting dark outside and that there was no power so she and Paris were going to take a nap.
He replied to say he was leaving his home in nearby Vernon and would be with them in around half an hour to join them for dinner.
After struggling through pouring rain and deep water, Mr Newman, 28, arrived to discover the street strewn with debris and the house completely destroyed.
He told Syracuse.com: ‘I could tell something terrible had happened and I right away started calling Kim. I called probably five or six times in a row, but there was no answer. I knew it wasn’t good.’
‘People tell me I seem like I’m being really strong, but actually it just hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “I’m still in shock. I still just can’t believe it.”