Tornado survivor tells first-hand account

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Families all over the area are still picking up the pieces from Sunday night's storm. News Leader Nine caught up with a Phenix City man who saw the tornado pass right by his house.

We've been showing you the damage from the tornado that swept through the valley all week. Clean-up is underway and as folks pick up the pieces they realize just how lucky they are. We caught up with one man today that tells us the stubbornness his wife usually complains about, might have saved both their lives.

"We usually go to the basement if it gets too bad." Glen Kelly's wife wanted to run across the yard to take cover in the basement when he heard the tornado coming for them.

"I turned around and told her, here it comes, get back in. And about that time the big tree fell and knocked the power out. So I pushed her towards the couch, she rolled into the floor and I laid on top of her," Kelly recalled.

He says if they had run when she wanted to, he wouldn't be standing here today, "About the time the roar started and I pushed her, it was over with. It was that quick."

All three of the family's cars were hit by a falling tree, but luckily not one shingle was out of place on the home.

"As far as damage, it was just the cars and the truck and some trees down. The house wasn't damaged, so we got lucky there. Everything fell between the houses over here," Kelly told News Leader Nine.

Some of his neighbors' houses weren't as lucky, "One thing is no one got hurt. We all thanked God for that and houses got damaged but no one hurt. I told my wife the season is just getting started so you don't know what's going to happen."  But he says if there is a next-time, they will be prepared, "Yeah, we're always prepared. We have the basement the problem is getting to it."

Kelly tells us he is working on getting the cars repaired, but his biggest concern right now is getting the truck back in action so he can go back to work.