FunZone destroyed by tornado three years ago - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

FunZone destroyed by tornado three years ago

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Where were you three years ago today? If you were in Montgomery, you were likely glued to WSFA 12 News watching coverage of a huge tornado that destroyed parts of East Montgomery. Including the FunZone Skate Center where children were trapped inside.

When Rocky and Lisa McElwain left Montgomery that morning, they had no idea their business would be destroyed just hours later.

A frantic call from an employee notified them of what happened.

"She said Lisa, Rocky get back quick. The building's gone. The building is gone. I said you are funny, She said no, It really is gone. A tornado came and wiped us out. She said FunZone is destroyed. She said I crawled out from under a desk and she said I can't find the kids. I can't find the kids", recalled Lisa McElwain of that frightful day.

Anxiety quickly set in. "All we could think about was what about the kids? What about the kids?", added Lisa.

A quick u-turn and several phone calls later, the McEwlains got the phone call they hoped for. All of the children out were pulled out of the building to safety.

Meanwhile in Montgomery, the rescue effort from folks in neighboring businesses was well underway. Rescuers formed a chain to get the kids out. All of the children made it out safely with only one of the them needing medical attention.

When the McElwains finally made it back they couldn't believe they're eyes. Their 30 foot tall FunZone building was gone.

Three years after the tornado the McElwains have opened a new facility in Dothan but they still think back to what happened that day.

"To think those children and staff survived it was a miracle. It was truly a miracle", said Lisa.

The McElwains say that they still have land here in Montgomery and that they hope to come back and possibly rebuild  one day. 

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