NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A young mother who lived through an EF3 tornado in New Orleans East two years ago treats today as a celebration of life.
Amanda Stockfelt keeps her 2-year-old daughter Autumn close, especially today.
"We could have been killed, should have been killed," Stockfelt says. "Don't know how we survived it."
Now living in Las Vegas, she remembers the scariest day of her life like it was yesterday.
On February 7, 2017 the young mother and her two-month-old daughter at the time miraculously survived the strongest tornado on record to ever hit New Orleans.
"I held on to her then and I still hold on to her now," says Stockfelt.
Inside a work trailer, she heard the twister coming, buckled Autumn into her car seat, hid beneath a desk and held on for dear life.
The tornado, with 160 mile an hour winds, sucked them both up into the air.
"We heard the trailer coming apart and then we flipped over backwards and then it's like the trailer exploded," Stockfelt said, "Me and the baby went flying through the air and I saw the sky, the inside of the vortex. I saw her and her car seat above my head and then we hit the ground."
By the time it was over, the tornado damaged hundreds of properties for miles in New Orleans East, and turned people's lives upside down.
Two years later, Stockfelt is still dealing with the emotion of it all. She is still in physical and emotional therapy and still thankful she and her daughter got a second chance.
Her message is one of hope.
"Make each day count. There's a reason why we didn't die. There's a reason why we're still here," Stockfelt says. "Even if it's just to give hope to someone that you can go through the worst day of your life and make it into something good, make it into a 2nd birthday, and make it a celebration. Don't make it a bad thing. Don't let go of hope."
Stockfelt says she's thinking about writing a book, detailing what they went through.
She says when her daughter is old enough, she plans to show her the news reports from that severe weather day, so she understands the miracle of their survival.