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Woman 'blessed' to be alive moments after tornado hits, home buried under trees in Newnan, Georgia

A tree fell through Vernita White’s home as a destructive tornado hit Newnan, and she is grateful for making it out of her home safely.

NEWNAN, Ga. — Residents in Newnan are picking up the pieces slowly but surely after a deadly tornado swept through Coweta County overnight Friday.

The powerful winds and rain are still fresh in the memory of Newnan resident Vernita White, who woke up to a scene of destruction.

White spoke with 11Alive reporter Jerry Carnes while crews began moving trees and other large material that damaged cars, power lines, homes on Robinson St.

She and her husband were asleep while the storm hit, and she was awakened by what was happening right outside of their home.

“I heard the wind, and I heard the roaring and I looked at my husband. We grabbed each other and just ran in the hallway,” White said. “Last night there was a gas leak. We couldn’t get through to the 9-1-1 so everybody just tried to grab everybody on the street and we just walked off because there was live power lines and gas.”

RELATED: 'Violent tornado' leaves death and destruction in Newnan | Watch Live

A tree fell through White’s home, and as she reflected back on what could have had a dangerous impact, she said she's grateful for making it out safely.

"Miraculously, where the tree fell it knocked down my TV and my pictures, but my fish are still alive," White said with a smile. “To be alive, I'm blessed." 

The unharmed pets reeled back a painful memory for White.

“So happily, those are the fishes that I had when I lost my grandkids 7 years ago in a fire. I’m blessed,” she said. “We are going to try to pick up the pieces and go on.”

Moved to tears, White said that she is grateful to have her children, her husband, and home insurance.

"We should be ok hopefully, but right now it's just hard to see," White said.

Crews worked through the night and will continue to get through debris on homes throughout the day. Search and rescue teams are also assisting the efforts.

During a press conference Friday morning, officials told residents to stay off roads as downed power lines were found across the area.