After a mostly quiet night in DeKalb County Monday, a tornado ripped through the very southern end of the county overnight. The heaviest damage was near the Smith Institute and Aroney communities.
Most residents were able to take quick action despite the late hour and found shelter. Their quick move paid off in a big way.
Debris along County Road 4 is all that remains of several homes. Just a stone's throw away is the Etowah County line, where there was also heavy damage.
Tuesday morning, crews with the Sand Mountain Baptist Association were out cutting trees, helping people clear driveways and roads in and around their homes. All day, people worked to salvage what they could from the piles of debris.
One man said he escaped the storm in the family car and feels quite fortunate to have made it out.
"It's something like out of a horror movie, with stuff hitting you, and it busted the windows," said Donnie Webb. "A piece of tin came through the back window and cut my little girl's face. We were all just panicking."
Lauren Cash and her husband found refuge in a relative's basement. When they came back to their mobile home, they found it ripped from its foundation. Very little remains; appliances were scattered all over their yard.
Cash and her husband of less than two years said they will start over.
"We've got a lot of big decisions to make here," Lauren said. "Right now, we've got a camper in South Alabama at a hunting club, so we are going to get it and camp out for awhile until we can figure things out."
DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency officials estimate as many as a dozen chicken houses were damaged or destroyed by the storms.
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