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I know I posted in the Tuscaloosa tornado thread and told my story but I decided to make a new thread and go from the top with my entire story now that my parent's house has power.
I woke up that day knowing it was going to be a bad day weather wise and immediately began watching the weather very close. I went and had lunch and came back and it was just a normal day as always. Around 4:00pm I noticed there was going to be a significant thunderstorm super cell heading directly towards Tuscaloosa. The storm had two significant rotation points within in it. The county including the city of Tuscaloosa was put under a Tornado warning.
As the storm approached Tuscaloosa the local news kept going to the sky cam that is located downtown. The ominous clouds kept getting closer. Soon one of the storm chasers reported that a tornado was in fact on the ground. At this time my roommate Carson and his girlfriend Ashley had woken up from their nap and myself and my other roommate Payton were all sitting in our living room watching very closely the impending weather situation. Within a few minutes they showed the Tuscaloosa tower cam and it showed a tornado on the ground to the south-west of the city. I noticed right away that if it continued on its current path it would be coming right to where our house was.
As we watched the television the tornado picked back up into the clouds and we breathed a short sigh of relief. We thought that possibly we were in the clear and started to relax a bit. A few minutes later I receive a phone call from my mom saying that a tornado is coming towards us and that we were aware and were watching very close. As I was talking to my mom my roommates went out onto our front porch and were looking at the clouds. At that time I glanced to the TV and noticed the tornado was touching down again.
At this time I frantically told my mom good bye and told her we were going to get into my closet in my bedroom. My closet was the smallest most central room in the entire house so it was the best and only choice we had. I grabbed my roommates off the porch and we got the dogs and ran as fast as we could to the closet and jumped in.
We get into the closet and huddle tightly together. A minute or two pass and soon we start to hear the beast coming. The wind is really picking up and the sound is starting to become unreal. This was the moment I realized that the tornado was going to be coming right over us. Soon the lights go out and the house starts shaking like I could not believe. The air starts being sucked out of the house and my ears start popping and it is getting difficult to breathe. The sound was so loud that hearing each other was starting to get very difficult. At this time I heard Ashley express how scared she was and yell for Carson. Soon the entire house starts getting ripped apart. I start seeing light from outside under the door to my closet. About this time I start yelling curse words like no other. I feel the house start to lift off the foundation. As soon as it lifted we started to roll and tumble over and over. It was pitch black, darkness like I had never experienced and the most insane speed I have ever experienced. Soon we started rolling in debris. At this time I came to the realization that I was going to die and that this was it. I had accepted death. After 10-15 seconds of this I finally blacked out.
I am not sure how much time passed but I awoke and opened my eyes. I was staring up at the sky. I sat up and I realized I had no debris on top of me. I looked around and for a second I had no idea where I was. Everything was completely different. Every tree in sight was not standing. I look around and see Carson lying face down about 10 feet to my right. I start to get up and feel extreme pain in my leg but ignore it. I rush to Carson and grab his shoulders and pick him up. He comes to and looks at me and is alive. I see Payton 10 feet in front of me lying face up and I rush to him and he is already awake and I help him sit up. We get up and all of us immediately start calling for Ashley. We are all yelling at the top of our lungs hoping she will respond. We start walking back towards our house and realize that nothing is where our house once stood. We are all in complete shock.
About this time some of our neighbors are beginning to come out of their houses and call to us if we need help. Soon we have the neighbors behind us coming up and they are in shock that our house is no longer there. We tell them we cannot find Ashley and they run into the field and start looking. Our neighbors at this time three doors down from us come out and see us and immediately start bringing us items to help us. They bring us chairs to sit on and water and bandages. A neighbor who is in the army who knew field triage comes up and starts to treat us. I notice at this time that I have a huge gash down the right side of my thigh. Carson has a severe cut on his wrist and has a major concussion. Payton has a swollen leg and his eye is closed shut.
Soon we start to try and contact our parents. Luckily we all got calls through and talked to our parents directly. All of them were very emotional but relieved that we were alive. We told them though that we could not find Ashley or the dogs. About that time some of the guys who had been searching for Ashley come up and the look on their faces told me exactly what I was fearing. They did not have to say it but I knew. I continued to tell Carson that they were looking for her even though I knew that she had passed.
After a good 45 minutes finally we see a cop come up and assist us. We were told we had to walk out to get to a cop car to take us to a triage location to be transported to the hospital. I did not have shoes so my neighbor gave me her size 7 slippers. They were way to small but they helped and allowed me to walk out of there. A cop car comes up and I tell the officer to take Carson and Payton before me because they are hurt more than I was. They get taken away and that was the last time I saw them for 3 days.
I finally made my way to an ambulance and we went down McFarland Blvd and the amount of devastation I saw was incredible. I had never seen anything like it. Entire shopping center was leveled to the ground. Restaurants were just missing. I was shocked at what I was seeing. I get to the hospital and it was the most unorganized mess I have ever been a part of. I wasn't assisted for a good two hours and even then I didn't receive much help. Finally at 11:00pm my parents arrive and take me home to a hospital in Birmingham and I am checked out and my wounds cleaned and I finally get home and get to sleep.
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