Holton, IN (FOX19) - A little more than a year ago, violent storms rolling through the Tri-State left nine people dead and devastation to the areas affected.
However, a Holton, Ind. couple who survived the tornado on March 2, 2012 received a very special gift on Tuesday -- Keys to their new home.
Thurman Marcum remembers exactly what happened that day.
"The roof started popping and cracking. I said, 'Uh oh!' I dropped to the floor, rolled up in a ball and was blown all the way across the railroad tracks at least 2,000 plus feet. I was lucky to be alive," he explained to FOX19's Ben Katko.
Fourteen months later, it was a much different day for the Marcums. They got the keys to their brand new home on Versailles Street in the small town of Holton.
It's the first of eight homes being rebuilt for those who lost everything.
"It feels like it's a miracle because I never thought this day would come," said Lonnie Marcum.
Through grant money, donations and the efforts of volunteers to build the homes, Tuesday was also a landmark day for those overseeing the project.
"It's a milestone. As the minister of the church here in town, Bob McQueary, said it is a victory for us here today," said Darin Kroger, construction manager on the project.
For a family who lost everything in the storm, the Marcums are indeed grateful and happy to call Holton 'home'.
"I'm grateful. I could never be able to repay them and what they did for me. I'm glad to live in Holton. Holton is my town. I love this town," said Thurman.
The Marcums were first to move into a new home based on need. They've actually been out of their home the longest of those moving into these homes.
Over the next two weeks, two more houses will be finished for other families who lost everything.