Fultondale woman who lost everything in tornado, has plans to rebuild

Storm victims moving on after deadly tornado

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been eleven days since a deadly EF-3 tornado plowed a path of destruction through the city of Fultondale.

Many people are displaced and are staying in hotels. But what will happen beyond that temporary stay?

Janice Hamilton buried her husband of 43 years this week and was too heartbroken to speak to us.

She is the Fultondale woman who lost her home and all her possessions in last week’s tornado.

And sadly, her husband died of natural causes a few days after that storm hit.

Her grandson, Antonio Stephens, said she’s doing well, all things considered, and has started planning for the future.

Stephens said he spoke to his grandmother on the phone less than an hour after the tornado hit last Monday.

“I heard from a friend that night of the tornado that happened, and they asked me if my grandparents were okay and all that, because I live just outside San Diego, and they asked me if my grandparents were okay and all that. So, I called my grandmother and she told me that the house was gone,” Stephens said.

Stephens said he wanted to fly out immediately to help his grandparents sort through the mess, but they insisted he stay put.

“She told me no, and my grandfather…he didn’t want me to come out there and worry about all that because of what I do… what I work,” Stephens explained.

“I was calling regularly just to check up on everything and it was about 1:30 in the morning my aunt had called me telling me that my grandfather had passed away,” he said.

Stephens said he and his family drove 30 hours from California to be by her side.

He said his grandmother is a godly woman who would give her last to anyone.

She has lost everything in less than a week’s time, but the community is rallying behind her.

“She says she wants to rebuild…rebuild her home…you know…stay where she’s lived for 30 to 40 years. She doesn’t want to get up and leave because Fultondale is her home,” Stephens said.

Stephens adds that arrangements have been made for his grandmother to stay at the Holiday Inn for as long as she needs to.

He said she wants to start rebuilding her home as soon as possible.

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