Heather Town, 32, was carried 200 feet by the huge twister and was found in debris still clinging on to her three year-old daughter, AnnMarie.
TV news stations in Florida, U.S., said the little girl was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, but is expected to survive.
The girl's crying reportedly led rescuers to find them mother under a pile of debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Debby, which has caused widespread devastation across the state.
A witness, Kim Bass, told Fox 13 that she couldn't believe her eyes.
"When they found her, she was literally holding her baby, her little girl," she said.
"They took the little child from her because she was having a hard time breathing and she had barbed wire on her and was in a very dense section of woods, about 50 feet back there."
Heather's dad Elmer said his daughter's sacrifice showed the type of a mother she was.
"[It was] amazing to save her daughter. She's alive, and her mom saved her," he said.
Heather's other daughters, Amber and Angelica, were not home at the time.A young mother sacrificed her own life to save her toddler daughter when a hurricane ripped through their mobile home.