As Tornado Tore Through Ark. Neighborhood, Man Lay Over Wife And Kids To Protect Them

04/28/2014 05:58 pm ET

As tornadoes cut through towns in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa on Sunday night, residents sought shelter and took cover to avoid the path of destruction. For one particular father in Vilonia, protecting his family from the storm was all about acting on instinct.

In an interview with a reporter for Little Rock's THV 11, a father of three from the Aspen Creek neighborhood recounted how he survived the Arkansas tornado with his family inside their house.

The man, who was not identified by name, told his wife and children to take cover inside their home once he saw the tornado nearing.

"I saw it coming from back that direction. I told everybody to take cover," the man told the reporter in a video posted by USA Today.

After his wife and kids were indoors, the man said he retreated inside and lay down on top of them. Though the tornado upended dozens of other houses in the area, the father and his family escaped relatively unscathed.

Raw video footage captured by Arkansas resident Tammy Moffitt shows a rescue crew pulling a woman, her elderly parents and a dog from a collapsed home in Center Hill. The family apparently hid inside a closet before the tornado hit, ABC News reports.

In a post published on Mashable, storm chaser Greg Johnson, who was in Vilonia on Sunday, recalled how one father piled his daughters in a bathtub when the tornado warning was first issue. Though the bathtub was ripped from the home, the family reportedly survived.

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