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75-year-old woman, son survive flying through tornado in bathtub, report says

As deadly storms slammed Southern states on Saturday, a twister reportedly tore into a home, tossing a 75-year-old woman and her son into the air as they huddled in a bathtub.

Miraculously, the pair survived.

>> Severe weather kills 19 in Georgia and Mississippi; death toll could rise

According to KSLA, Rickey Williams and his mother, Charlesletta, of Smithland, Texas, said their perilous ride began that evening after they watched a weather report about a possible tornado in the area.

"I don't know what it was is, but it started, 'Woo woo, woo,'" Charlesletta told KSLA.

>> Watch the interview with KSLA here

Williams said he and his mother hurried to the bathroom, where they took refuge in the tub just before the tornado struck their home. 

"The whole house started shaking," Williams told KSLA. "I heard, like, a 'poof,' and I knew the roof came off."

Then they were lifted into the air, spinning, Williams said.

>> Read more trending stories

Moments later, when they came down, it "felt like someone placed us on the ground," Williams told KSLA.

Mary Taylor, Charlesletta's daughter, believes a higher power was at work.

"God was watching over her," Taylor said.

Read more here.

ON KSLA NEWS 12 AT 6: A 75-year-old's bathtub ride to survival during ETX tornado https://t.co/3BbYDwI3nG pic.twitter.com/mbXlCaFAZJ— KSLA News 12 (@KSLA) January 24, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Deadly Mexico fireworks explosion: 5 things to know

A deadly explosion rocked the busy San Pablito fireworks market Tuesday afternoon in Tultepec, Mexico, killing dozens as smoke filled the sky.

Here's what we know so far:

>> PHOTOS: Fireworks explosion at Mexican market kills dozens

1. At least 33 people were killed and dozens injured in the blast, The Associated Press reported. Ten children reportedly were hospitalized.

2. Investigators have not revealed the cause of the explosion. "We are going to identify who is responsible," Avila said.

3. The market was well-stocked for the holidays. "We are obviously in the high season," Tultepec Mayor Armando Portuguez Fuentes said, according to the AP. "There was more product than usual because we are a few days away from Christmas, a few days away from New Year's, and those are the days when the products made here are consumed the most."

>> Read more trending stories

4. This isn't the first time the market has been hit by an explosion. In 2005, a blast ripped through the market, destroying "hundreds of stalls," the AP reported. A similar explosion occurred in 2006.

5. The explosion was captured on video. Watch footage from the scene below:

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wh65JWGDiT8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NtmNO8pgXnE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

98-year-old man helps clean up yards after Hurricane Matthew

He may be close to 100, but that doesn’t stop Bill Wheeler from being an active member of society.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> 98-year-old man cleans up yards

>> Click here to watch the news report

The Georgia man has been using his tractors to grind up debris in his neighbors’ yards left over from Hurricane Matthew.

The 98-year-old told WJCL-TV that he is giving back after they helped him.

"I love them and I think they love me. I could say a lot more but that's about it," Wheeler told WJCL-TV. "They are wonderful people, you just don't know. I get choked up. They're great people."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Gayla Bennett, Wheeler's neighbor, said she feels lucky to know him.

"For him to come out and mow his lawn and then our next door neighbor's, and now he's out here on our yard, and he's still going!" said Bennett. "If I could be like him when I'm that old, I'll be happy. He's amazing."

Wheeler said he's happy to do the work and happy to help his neighbors.

>> Read more trending stories

"First of all, I want to do it. I want to do. I wouldn't have it any other way," Wheeler said. "The young people learn from the old people, but anyway, I love it. I love to be outdoors. The good Lord blessed me, so I'll give a little back."

Read more here.

Hurricane Matthew: Home Depot activates disaster-response center to send supplies

Tractor-trailers loaded with supplies for areas struck by Hurricane Matthew are being dispatched from metro Atlanta.

Home Depot has activated its disaster-response command center at its headquarters in Cobb County, Georgia.

The command center opened at 1 p.m. Wednesday, and depending on the weather along the Florida and Georgia coasts, it could stay open around the clock.

>> Hurricane Matthew: Live updates as storm approaches the East Coast

Across three large conference rooms on an upper floor of the corporate headquarters in Cobb County, hundreds of eyes and ears are glued to the weather forecast.

"This morning, as we got an update on the storm's path, we quickly decided to activate our disaster-response command center," Home Depot's Stephen Holmes told WSB-TV’s Berndt Petersen.

The command center is tracking Hurricane Matthew and rushing supplies to the Florida and Georgia coasts.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

About 350 employees are ordering tractor-trailer loads of plywood, generators, tarps and batteries, and arranging delivery to hundreds of the company's warehouse stores across the two states.

The center can run 24 hours a day if necessary. It has done this before when hurricanes made landfall either on the Atlantic or Gulf coasts.

But right now, the plan is to operate for at least the next two or three days. And that plan is in full swing.

>> Read more trending stories

“The trucks are rolling from Atlanta, from our Hurricane Distribution Center in Lakeland, Florida – feeding the stores.

"We also have a distribution center in the Northeast to make sure if we need to move product there, we can do that, as well," Holmes told Petersen.

The company says that right now, the key areas where supplies are being rushed are south Florida and Savannah.

What's open? Orlando theme parks respond as Hurricane Matthew shifts toward Florida

Orlando's WFTV is gathering information on Orlando theme parks ahead of the possible arrival of Hurricane Matthew.

  • According to Disney’s website, “Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew. Recent forecasts indicate that there could be rain and wind in the Central Florida area as early as Thursday evening.” 

>> Hurricane Matthew: Live updates as storm approaches the East Coast

  • Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is closed through Sunday. Thursday and Friday performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and Mickey's Backyard BBQ are canceled.
  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Theme Park is canceled for Thursday. For rebooking, refunds and other options, call 407-566-4985, option 5, from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. ET.
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is open Thursday, but the Learn to Surf experience is closed. The park will be closed Friday.
  • Disney's Polynesian Village Resort has canceled Spirit of Aloha dinner shows for Thursday and Friday.
  • La Vida Health Club at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort; Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort; and Ship Shape Massage, Salon and Fitness at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will be closed from noon Thursday through Saturday evening.
  • Characters in Flight at Disney Springs is closed through Sunday.
  • The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex has canceled the 2016 Disney Cross Country Classic and Baseball Canada's games and practice sessions for Friday and Saturday. Baseball Canada's Thursday game has been rescheduled from 1 p.m. to 10 a.m.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

  • SeaWorld and Discovery Cove will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday closed Friday. SeaWorld will be open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday with normal Spooktacular activities from noon-7 p.m. Please check the website for up-to-date information. Aquatica Orlando will be closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Universal Studios representative said the park is “currently planning to remain open as scheduled through the week. We are obviously monitoring the weather and will always make the safety of our guests and team members our top priority.” Please check the website for up-to-date information.

>> Read more trending stories

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort will operate as scheduled Thursday, but LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park may close early due to the approach of Hurricane Matthew. The theme park will remain closed Friday, but LEGOLAND Hotel will be open to admit arriving guests. They expect to operate as scheduled Saturday but will continue to monitor the storm’s projected path and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be closed Thursday and Friday. Visitor Complex officials anticipate reopening at 9 a.m. Saturday after a thorough assessment of the property has been completed.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Hurricane Matthew: 9 things to do for your family's hurricane plan

1. Determine your risk: It is important to stay informed during severe weather.

National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb posted a blog in June with some interesting comments he hears every year, including, “I’ve lived here for decades and we’ve never had a hurricane. I figure I’m good.”

What do they say afterward? “No one told me it could be this bad.”

>> Hurricane Matthew: Live updates as storm approaches the East Coast

2. Develop an evacuation plan: Review the FEMA evacuation guidelines here.   

3. Get an insurance check-up: AAA suggests that you round up your recordsfigure out flood insurance and ensure you're covered. Also, make an inventory of your assets and their values.

4. Shop for supplies: You'll need canned food, bottled water and batteries. Click here for a slideshow shopping list of things your family could use during severe weather.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

5. Strengthen your home: Improve the strength of your roof deck attachment, install hurricane-rated window shutters, replace a standard garage door with a hurricane-rated garage door, and secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. Read more preparedness tips here.

6. Keep a list of emergency contact information: Learn more about making a family emergency communication plan here.

7. Fill up your gas tank.

>> Read more trending stories

8. Turn on your TV/radio or check your city/county website to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

9. Before the power goes out: Fill your bathtub with water unless you have young children. The water can be used for drinking, washing and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

How to protect yourself from price gouging during Hurricane Matthew

There are always people who look to profit from emergency situations.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has information on price gouging during a state of emergency and how residents can protect themselves ahead of Hurricane Matthew's landfall.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all of Florida Monday in preparation for the hurricane. 

Price gouging is selling essential commodities, dwelling units or self-storage facilities “for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency,” the Attorney General's Office said.

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

Essential commodities include food, ice, gas and lumber, the office said.

Non-essential items, including alcohol and cigarettes, are not covered under Florida price-gouging statutes.

"Florida consumers need to be diligent during this state of emergency to ensure they do not become victims of price gouging," Attorney General Pam Bondi said. "Taking advantage of consumers during a declared state of emergency is not only reprehensible, it is illegal and will not be tolerated."

>> 'Creepy' skull satellite image of Hurricane Matthew has people freaking out

Those found in violation of Florida price gouging statutes can be fined $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 for multiple violations during the same 24-hour period. 

To avoid being a victim of price gouging during an emergency, the Attorney General's Office recommends being prepared ahead of time.

>> Central Florida cruises rerouted because of Hurricane Matthew

To help avoid price gouging, have the following items on hand:

  • 5 gallons of drinking water per person in your household
  • At least two working flashlights
  • A portable radio
  • A telephone with a cord. If the electrical power is lost, a cordless telephone will not work
  • An ample supply of batteries to power those and other items
  • A full tank of propane and charcoal if you have a charcoal grill
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Formula and diapers, if you have young children in the home

Though not essential, board games, books and playing cards are also recommended to pass the time during a storm or other emergency, the office said.

>> Read more trending stories

Residents who believe that they have been the victim of price gouging can call the Attorney General’s price gouging hotline at 866-966-7226 or visit myfloridalegal.com.

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