LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Heavy rain came through Lee County earlier Thursday afternoon, and for some families, rain brings back memories of the tragic March third tornadoes.
One family is back in a home for the first time since those deadly storms.
It’s a day this family has been waiting on for a long time. The family of six had been living in a hotel for several months and now, they have a home thanks to Samaritan’s Purse.
Brenda Hugley, her husband Ronnie and their five-year-old daughter had just returned home from church on March 3 when the storms that took 23 lives ravaged through their property.
“That’s when it went to raining, debris and everything," Ronnie Hugley said. "I go to the kitchen window and I look out and I just see a big dark cloud coming my way.”
“It was devastating," Brenda Hugley added. "It was so devastating. We were on the floor and our bodies, like if you couldn’t get a hold, we were just shaking on the floor like this.”
The family is anxious to return to the place they once called home for 12 years, and now with the help of the Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, they are finally getting the answer to their prayers.
“It’s security," said Tom Vannoy, project manager for Samaritan’s Purse. "It’s peace of mind.”
Brenda Hugley said they applied for the Lee County Mobile Home Replacement Project on a Friday and were approved the following Monday with only one questioned ask from the organization.
“They’re actually giving us this home, ain’t nothing tied to them, not nothing at all," she said. "They asked us to stay here five years, but I’m going to stay here as long as I live.”
Not only did the family get this beautiful four-bedroom mobile home, but Samaritan’s Purse also included a storm shelter -- free of charge -- that’s big enough for eight adults.
“It’s a place they know they can go in the event another storm hits,” Vannoy said. "Regardless of what may happen to the physical properties, their lives will be spared and that’s the most important thing.”
If you owned a mobile home in Lee County that was destroyed by tornadoes in March, you can call Tom Vannoy and his wife to apply for a new mobile home through Samaritan’s Purse. The deadline for those applications is August 30. You can reach the Vannoy’s at (334)-744-7326.