Tornado bears brighten Jenkins Road neighborhood

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — If you’ve driven or walked down Jenkins Road, you’ve probably noticed the one house across from the Holly Hills neighborhood with three stuffed animals sitting on the couch in a living room destroyed by a tornado.

Many people stop to take pictures just to document a piece of levity in this massive destruction However, what those people taking pictures might not know, is that the family that owns this house was sitting right where those bears are, in the living room, when the storm hit.

“I was sitting right here watching TV,” Zee Beganovic said, pointing to his now open living room.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so scared. Like, I’m so scared,'” Beganovic’s 8-year-old daughter Alisa said. “He said, ‘Everything’s going to be okay.’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, no. I’m really, really, really scared.’ The power kept coming on and off and on and off.”

“While we were going downstairs, you could just feel the pressure in your ears,” 14-year-old Ema Beganovic said. “By the time we stepped off the stairs, we heard like a loud bang, and that’s when the tree fell in, and the front doors and everything. It was pretty scary.”

The Beganovics crammed inside a then full closet on the first floor until the storm passed. Their quick thinking saved their lives. However, the house they’ve spent the last 14 years making a home was destroyed.

Zee: “It’s really hard [to see the house like this.]”

“I don’t want them to take it away because it was going to be our home forever,” Alisa said. “I don’t want to get a new one, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to it this way.”

Despite the destruction, the family is bringing some smiles to the neighborhood thanks to three stuffed animals.

“I just tried to do something funny, you know, to make the people happy,” Beganovic said. “All my neighbors, it’s a bad situation and tried to move a little bit stress to everybody.”

“I’m hoping that kind of brings them up a little bit and kind of lightens the mood for everyone,” Ema said.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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