(KTEN) — These people lost everything in a matter of seconds on March 21, 2022.

 "And then it started hailing; the sky was green," said Jerry Green.

There are people just north of Whitesboro on 377 that are in Sherwood Shores, and they are trapped.

"My husband said, 'It's here… get down.' Robert looked back and he could see it." Carol Kennedy recalled.

A typical spring day in Sherwood Shores and Buncombe Creek ended in total destruction.

"It got real quiet and eerie," Green recalled. "No birds; no leaves blowing; no wind... and then…"

Fifteen minutes later, Carol Kennedy, her husband and their friends were just arriving at their Buncombe Creek home to take shelter from the approaching storm.

"We were buried in the bathtub," she said.

That's when the powerful EF-2 tornado ripped through Sherwood Shores and Buncombe Creek.

"We started hearing explosions and things hitting the roof," Green said.

While homeowners in Sherwood Shores peeked outside to assess the damage.

"Our fence had been twisted like a pretzel, and was in a clump over there, really next to our cars," Hanna Green said.

Just across the Red River, people were trying to gauge what exactly was headed their way.

If you're in Kingston, I would stay on high alert here...

"It came up to the marina, which is just down the bluff there, and actually traveled up through this trailer park and right through these trees, and just kept coming," Kennedy said.

The tornado ripped Carol Kennedy's home apart brick-by-brick, leaving her, her friends, and her husband clinging to anything they could find to survive.

"He actually didn't get all the way down... where he was thrown he still had the doorknob in his hand," she said. "It was locked, but the door was gone, but he still had the doorknob."

The National Weather Service would later determine that the Kennedys' home took a direct hit from the tornado.

Homes were unrecognizable. They were flattened completely.

"For me it was a blur… the first week or so, just a total blur," Kennedy said. 

As the victims tried to make sense of the terror that had just upended their lives in a matter of seconds, they leaned on each other in their darkest moments.

"Friends came out in droves to salvage what they could," Kennedy said.

More than one year later, Texomans are still picking up the pieces. Take a look and you'll find twisted sheet metal in the trees of Sherwood Shores.

"The cleanup was really intense for about two weeks… and then everything just disappeared," Hanna Green said. "We still had trees down; we still had utility poles laying on the ground."

For the Kennedys, the road to recovery began with taking care of their business.

"My clinic is now up and going, I actually just bought a building to move to," Carol Kennedy said. "The house will be next!"

The remaining wreckage in both towns symbolizes how quickly life can change.

"The power of that, I probably didn't appreciate prior to the tornado," Hanna Green said. "Now I have a much greater appreciation of what it can do, and I think we're a little more prepared, for sure."

In Part 2 of Surviving the Storm, KTEN Weather revisits the Blue/Bokchito tornado of 2019.