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Tornado victims say they owe their safety to severe weather alerts

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Brian Hall says he owes the safety of his family to a severe weather alert from WTVM that woke him up early Tuesday morning, just minutes before the category F-3 tornado touched down in Lee County. Brian Hall says he owes the safety of his family to a severe weather alert from WTVM that woke him up early Tuesday morning, just minutes before the category F-3 tornado touched down in Lee County.
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SALEM, AL (WTVM) -

Brian Hall and his family live off Lee Road 205 in Salem.

He says he owes the safety of his family to a severe weather alert from WTVM that woke him up early Tuesday morning, just minutes before the category F-3 tornado touched down in Lee County.

"Both of our phones simultaneously went off and so we jumped out of bed and got dressed. I looked out at the back door and I could hear noise that was unfamiliar to me," explains Hall.

Hall and his family huddled in the bathroom to ride out the storm, never thinking the roof off their home and shed would be blown away in seconds.

"A feeling of helplessness is what it was. Complete helplessness. When you walk out you understand, when daylight hits, the devastation that it took 15 to 20 seconds to make," says Hall.

"It said take shelter immediately, tornado warning."

David Bradley lives just a few doors down on Lee Road 205.

He too says he owes his life to technology and the message he received from WTVM.

"It tore my house up, there are trees everywhere, but I'm glad I got WTVM's alert. There's no telling what else could have happened to us," explains Bradley.

Residents on Lee Road 205 are not able to hear tornado sirens.

By simply texting "severe weather" to 40909, they are alerted when it matters most.

"We can't hear sirens, but both of those tones and the WTVM app went off at the same time and told us to seek shelter, that's what we did," says Hall.

Now it's all about recovery.

Hundreds of trees lay out in yards and walls, roofs and doors need to be replaced, but the residents of Lee Road 205 say no matter what, they have each other's back.

"We're all one big family out here," explains Bradley.

"We can replace all that. That is not the important thing," says Hall, "The important thing is that everyone is safe and my friends, family and everyone that lives here is good to go."

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*Text "Breaking" to 40909 for breaking news alerts

*Text "SevereWeather" to 40909 for severe weather alerts

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