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Tornado survivor says the road to recovery hasn’t been easy

77-year-old Johnny Bullard, Fultondale tornado
77-year-old Johnny Bullard, Fultondale tornado(wbrc)
Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:41 PM CST
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FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - Survivors of last month’s deadly tornado are still trying to put the pieces of lives back together.

One man said he’s thankful to be alive, but the road to recovery has been anything but easy.

Last month’s deadly tornado took everything from 77-year-old Johnny Bullard, including his home.

“I’m staying with my friend, Peggy…Peggy War. She’s been real good to me and I’m feeling a little bit better now than I did a month ago,” Bullard said.

Bullard said he just got his nerves to finally settle down from the tornado. He was asleep when the storm hit and managed to get to the middle of his living room. But the wind blew him up against a wall temporarily knocking him unconscious. He said he woke up under a pile of rubble fearing for his life.

“I hope nobody has to go through it. I hope they don’t. It scared me to death. It’s been a nightmare. Every day you wake up… I have to think of something I gotta do…come over here…and then go back to her house,” Bullard explained.

The land where Bullard lives has been in the family for decades. But his home was not insured, adding to his stress. He said family, friends and the community have rallied behind raising more than $50,000.

“I can’t repay all them. I know I can’t, but they’ve been a tremendous help to me. The people I worked with at the school, they’ve been real, real generous,” Bullard said.

Bullard, and other members of his family who live in the area, said they don’t plan to rebuild in Fultondale because everything is just too torn up. But Bullard said a contractor has volunteered to demo his home at no charge, and he’s already started looking for a new place to live.

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