Families picking up the pieces after deadly tornado damaged more than 60 homes in Hale County

EF-2 tornado leaves destruction in Hale County
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 9:06 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2022 at 7:27 PM CST
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HALE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Sawyerville families are picking up the pieces after a deadly EF-2 tornado destroyed dozens of homes.

“It’s very devastating,” Hale County resident Yvonne Williams said. “It’s a miracle that she made it out alive.”

Williams’ mother was home alone when the tornado ripped roots out of the ground and blew a large tree onto her roof.

”She was in the tub laying down,” Williams said. “She said she heard all the noises, but she just didn’t know what was going on. She didn’t know until she came to the front to see her porch gone, all the trees down, and then she didn’t want to come out anymore because she was too scared to look.”

Williams isn’t just thankful for her mom’s life, but also her uncle’s life.

“He was sitting in his truck, trying to go to a safe place, and he said [the winds] just picked him up and put him over in the lake,” Williams said. “He said he broke the window out and swam out.”

She said the storm destroyed multiple family member’s homes. They all live near her mom.

“My grandmother house,” Williams said. “My mom’s house to my nephew trailer, which is gone. My auntie’s house with the top of the roof off. It took my uncle’s trailer, shed, and then his truck is over in the lake.”

The Red Cross is helping her mom with recovery efforts, but Williams said the family plans to buy their own storm shelter before the next storm.

“I just thank God the house is here and she is here, because normally something like that, if it had stayed on the ground, I don’t think none of them would have survived,” she said.

The Hale County EMA director, Russell Weeden, said 60 to 70 homes were hit hard by the storm, but 20 were destroyed and 35 are unlivable. He said half of the most destroyed homes were mobile homes.

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