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‘I still can’t sleep’: Survivor remembers tornado that claimed 7 family members

That day Cora Jones lost seven family members, including her mother and father.
That day Cora Jones lost seven family members, including her mother and father.((Source: WSFA 12 News))
Updated: Mar. 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM CST
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BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WSFA) - Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children were lost when an EF-4 tornado touched down in the Beauregard community.

That day Cora Jones lost seven family members, including her parents.

“I couldn’t cry. I just couldn’t believe it,” Jones said.

Jones had spent the morning with her family, fixing her mother’s hair as she did every Sunday. They had planned to get back together to eat after church.

"I called my brother to come over there to pick up the food, that’s when it started to rain. So, I was going to follow him back over here, because I stayed in a trailer and they stayed in a wooden home. I said, ‘No. I’ll be on over there later because I hate driving when it’s raining,'” said Jones.

Jones’s brother was killed in the storm as he drove back home. She said she knew something was wrong when she couldn’t get her parents on the phone.

“When I got here, I met first responders and I said, ‘Where’s my mom and dad?’ They said, ‘Your mama and daddy are gone,’ and I just hit the ground.”

Jones says she can't get the images of that day out of her mind.

“I found my daddy. I seen [sic] 11 of the 12 people who got killed over here. It’s a scene I can’t get out of my head. I still can’t sleep.”

Jones now lives in a new home on her parents' property. The home is decorated with flowers, a tribute to her mother.

“She loved flowers and daddy always had a joke to tell,” she said.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the March 3rd tornadoes. Several events have been planned to remember the day and honor the victims. One of those events, a groundbreaking of a permanent memorial, will be held at 5 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.