Wetumpka tornado survivors tell harrowing tale

Wetumpka tornado survivors tell harrowing tale
Mark Moody and his mom lost their Wetumpka home in the tornado, but came out with their lives.

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Saturday afternoon around 2:45, Mark Moody made the decisive decision that may have saved his mom’s life.

“I walked up the hallway to mother’s room and laid my body over hers and the next thing I know it had hit," said Moody.

“I think he thought we were actually going to go,” said Virginia Moody.

With the tornado bearing down, packing winds of at least 120 miles per hour, Moody heard the all familiar sound of a freight train and much more.

“And we could actually feel it shift. You were fearful it could cave in and collapse," he said.

It only lasted a few seconds but felt like forever.

“I started praying and I just asked God to keep us from any harm,” said Mark’s mom.

When the storm moved across the Coosa River, the Moodys realized they were okay, but not their home. The Magnolia Cottage was built around 1890.

“This piece of property in the 1800s was an all male academy," he said.

It survived two world wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession, but apparently not the unrelenting power of an EF-2 tornado.

Mark Moody's family home was destroyed in Saturday's EF-2 tornado in Wetumpka.
Mark Moody's family home was destroyed in Saturday's EF-2 tornado in Wetumpka. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“The insurance adjuster has said it’s a total loss," said Moody.

“It was a beautiful historic home, wasn’t it?” Mark reminded his mom who is bedridden.

For now, Mark and his mom have moved back to the family home in east Montgomery. They had planned to sell it, but not now until they figure out what’s next.

The family has a story to tell, a story of a son’s love shielding his mom from the real threat of harm and surviving it to talk about it.

Mark Moody said he has full replacement insurance but not sure if he’ll rebuild on the same site or go somewhere else. They emerged without a scratch.

Mark and his mom said this was by far the worst thing they’ve ever experienced. Authorities said there were no reported major injuries and no fatalities.

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