Man not sure how family survived Lee County tornado

Lee County man speaks on tornado survival

LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Residents of Lee County are still in recovery mode after a powerful tornado ripped through their community two weeks ago. Nearly 600 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the March 3 tornadoes that claimed 23 lives.

For many homeowners who did survive, they have been left with nothing. Euel Partridge, a Beauregard resident, is among them. But he’s thankful he still has his life.

“I don’t know why I’m alive,” he said, looking at what’s left of his home. He, his wife, and daughter were all home when the tornado hit.

“It sounded like jets,” he remembered. As the tornado approached, the family ran to take cover.

“She ran through here to get a blanket," he said. "When she ran down here, the walls started shaking. The house just went.”

Partridge and his wife were thrown 30 or 40 feet down the hill behind their home.

“I said, ‘I got to find my daughter.’ I took two steps and heard her say, ‘Mom, where ya’ll at?’”

Partridge hurt his back. His wife broke her neck. His daughter had a cut on her leg. Their home is gone, but his family is still together.

“All I can say is God saved us. It had to be. That thing was a monster. I hope I never see anything like that again.”

The family is staying in a hotel for now. They’re having to replace everything from car keys to their drivers licenses.

If you were affected by the storm and have questions for FEMA or the Red Cross, there will be a community meeting Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Pierce Chapel Church, located at 8685 Al Highway 51 in Opelika.

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