Family Prayer Closet Remained Standing in Midst of Alabama Tornado

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
March 26, 2019US News
Family Prayer Closet Remained Standing in Midst of Alabama Tornado
Damage caused by a powerful tornado in Beauregard, AL., on March 4, 2019. (Dronebase via AP)

Lee County, Alabama was hit with a dangerous and wild tornado on Mar. 3, leaving much destruction in its path.

The EF-4 tornado tore through anything that stood its path, including homes, trees, and animals. The destruction caused grief for many, including causing 23 deaths and displacing many from their homes.

However, amidst the chaos, one structure remained standing despite the strong winds. A man who discovered the surviving structure posted it online, and the story soon spread rapidly.

Jason Smith, a Chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, told 11Alive that he visited the areas that were most affected by the destructive storm.

In amidst the chaos, he was shocked when he came across a home that was completely obliterated, except for one part of the house, which was still standing. It was hard to believe, and Smith was nearly speechless.

The man wrote about his discovery on Facebook.

Listen to me please. I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this…

Jason N Christa Smith 发布于 2019年3月14日周四

“Listen to me please,” Smith wrote. “I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet.”

He went on and explained what the closet was—or rather, what it was for.

“It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived,” he continued.

As per what Smith said, the photos attached to the post showed the partial walls of the standing closet with everything around it completely demolished.

Despite the tornado’s powerful winds and its destructive powers, there were still things it couldn’t destroy.

“Are you kiddin me!!!” He wrote. “My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody!”

Alabama Tornado

The tornado struck on Mar. 3, coursing through much of the county and leaving destruction in its path. Homes and buildings were demolished and strips of metal were left dangling off of the trees, some of which were split or destroyed.

According to 11Alive, the EF-4 tornado left many animals dead, and 23 people passed away in the disaster, four of whom were children.

Weather officials believe that the winds from the tornado that tore through Alabama reached 170mph (219kph), or even higher. The powerful winds cut through the south, prompting officials to send out tornado warnings to states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

Many dubbed the storm as a “monster tornado,” since it was the deadliest day of tornadoes in America in nearly six years. It was also the highest number of deaths since May 2013, when an EF-5 tornado claimed the lives of 24 people in Moore, Oklahoma.

The tragedy overwhelmed the Lee County coroner’s office, and the office had no choice but to call for help from the state.

“It looks like someone almost just took a giant knife and scraped the ground,” Sheriff Jay Jones said.

Many were displaced from their homes and personal items were blown miles and miles away, leaving belongings strewn everywhere.

Patrick Marsh, the warning coordinator meteorologist from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, said the deaths could be the result of more than one tornado. It was likely that another tornado tore through the county around the same time.

“All we could do is just hold on for life and pray,” said Jonathan Clardy, one of the survivors of the destructive tornado. It tore the roof off of his trailer, as he huddled together with his family. “It’s a blessing from God that me and my young’ns are alive.”

The town of Beauregard is home to around 10,000 people, according to the sheriff, and it had just a few stores, two schools, and a fire department run by volunteers.

“Everybody in Beauregard is a real close-knit family,” Clardy said. “Everybody knows everybody around here. Everybody is heartbroken.”

President Trump also visited the tornado damage site, as well as the graves of the 23 victims.

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