Damage reports and survivor stories from Calhoun County - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Damage reports and survivor stories from Calhoun County

CALHOUN COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Calhoun County joins other Alabama counties in receiving a federal disaster declaration.  At least nine people died in that county.

Neighborhoods in Wellington and Ohatchee have received heavy damage, in some cases even wiped out.  The Robin's Mill subdivision in Ohatchee--a lakefront subdivision full of year-round and summer homes--was flattened. 

James Weathington took shelter in his place of safety.  His house was one of only two still standing, albeit with a lot of damage.

"I was about to get in the shower and I heard it coming.  So I run, got under the stairwell in my daughter's bedroom and rode it out," he recalled.

Jim Boyd, who described the shape of the tornado as a "wedge," tried to outrun it in his Chevy pickup and ended up with a dented fender.

"When I looked back across I thought 'Wow, my trailer's gone!'  Then I looked and said 'Everything's gone!'" he recalled.

Pam Hunter expressed gratitude that her dog, Jenna B, made it out alive.  Jenna B was home (but no one else was) when the mobile home was thrown several feet and disintegrated.  Jenna B wasn't hurt but did appear overly excited.

Across the highway a bleaker picture: the last body to be recovered from the countywide recovery effort.  A woman's body turned up in a slough across Highway 77.  Her husband died in an area hospital the same day.

One person died while taking shelter in the Mamre Baptist Church fellowship hall, and several others were injured.  The fellowship hall, which used to be the actual church, was flattened.  The new church, built across the street just off Highway 431 in Wellington, was very heavily damaged.

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