Hale County family speaks on surviving a tornado

AKRON, Ala. (WIAT) — Cleanup continues in the Oak Village community of Akron following a devastating severe storm Tuesday.

Nancy Key and her husband Porter spent Thursday salvaging what they could after their home was destroyed Tuesday night. Nancy says her family and other neighbors took shelter in her neighbor’s storm shelter next door.

“Because if that storm shelter hadn’t been there, we would not have left our home. And if we had stayed in our home none of us would have survived,” Key said. “There were four of us in there and none of us would have made it. So the shelter literally saved our lives.”

Hale County EMA Director Russell Weeden says a total of 10 homes were destroyed and 40 others were damaged.

“If you look at these homes, there’s nothing left to them and you wonder how these people survive without a scratch. We did not have one scratch on anyone throughout this storm. We had 10 homes destroyed and that really is a miracle” Weeden said.

Weeden says Akron does not currently have a storm shelter, but the EMA is trying to get funds to build a tornado storm shelter near city hall.

Resident Porter Key says his neighbors were not home when the storm hit, but they leave the door to the storm room open in case bad weather happens.

“We got up and got dressed and when we come out you can hear it and we got next door to the storm shelter, and it hits and lasted about two seconds,” Key said. “All I can say is thank God for that storm shelter.”

EMA says there were no injuries or fatalities, and storm cleanup could take weeks to get done.

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