Oak Grove couple barely escapes deadly tornado

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

OAK GROVE, AL (WTVM) -  For the past week we've heard the heart-breaking stories of residents in the southeast who lost their lives due to tornadoes, but there are thousands of families who escaped with their lives. News Leader Nine talked to one family that came much closer to the deadly tornado than they expected.

The Vice's were sitting in their Oak Grove home one week ago, watching the weather in their living room. The meteorologist on the screen told them a tornado was heading their way.

"We're not going to go downstairs, it won't be that bad. Then they said three minutes and my son called and said to go downstairs now. If we hadn't, we wouldn't be here," said the wife of Jackie Vice.

What they thought never could happen to them, did.

Oak Grove resident Jackie Vice explained, "About a minute and a half before it got here we went and got in the basement. The basement is really what saved our lives. It took everything off the top."

The couple took the weather man's advice and ran to their safe spot -- in a center room on the lowest floor of their home.

Mrs. Vice told News Leader Nine, "It knocked that door up and the suction was pulling us out and he was pushing me and I wouldn't go and I grabbed him because I thought he was going to stay out here. We got in here in the closet and started praying. When we got in there it took both of us to get that door closed and just as we got it closed... You can see behind you what happened."

Although the storm took nearly everything they owned, Jackie Vice says they walked away with the most important thing, "We just thank the Lord we weren't hurt, that's the main thing. Everything else is replaceable. We didn't lose our lives so that's the main thing, we couldn't replace that."

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