Alabama Tornado Survivor On His Experience In The Storm NPR's Scott Simon talks with Mike Adams, a resident of Beauregard, Ala., who survived a tornado that killed 23 people.
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Alabama Tornado Survivor On His Experience In The Storm

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Alabama Tornado Survivor On His Experience In The Storm

Alabama Tornado Survivor On His Experience In The Storm

Alabama Tornado Survivor On His Experience In The Storm

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/701838135/701838136" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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NPR's Scott Simon talks with Mike Adams, a resident of Beauregard, Ala., who survived a tornado that killed 23 people.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump was in Beauregard, Ala., yesterday to pay respects to 23 people who were killed in a tornado there last weekend. On the day of that storm, Mike Adams saw the enormous tornado headed toward his home. He took refuge with his family in the bathroom. Mr. Adams, why don't you pick up the story for us from there if you could, please.

MIKE ADAMS: Oh, absolutely. Well, as we were hearing the alerts going off on our cellphones, my wife decided that it was prudent for her and the - and my three boys to go ahead and take refuge inside the bathroom. And so I walked to the front of our house and was looking through the glass in the front door. And I saw the front approaching.

It was very fast - the low clouds and the rain. And it was very, very windy. And then I noticed that there were black, wispy clouds somewhat low to the ground, but they were turning in a clockwise rotation. And I knew that that was not a very good sign. So I immediately ran into the bathroom with the rest of my family. We closed the door and began to pray very earnestly that God would spare us. And we - as we were doing that, we heard the sound that you hear so often people describe - that of a freight train. And it really did. It sounded just as though we had parked our car at a railroad crossing, and we're hearing this awful rumbling.

And we began to hear what we are not sure if it was debris or if it was hail. But we could hear things hitting our house. We could hear windows breaking. And the thought occurred to me that we might not make it, but we did.

SIMON: May I ask what you and your family were praying in that bathroom?

ADAMS: Oh, absolutely. I just prayed for my family. And I said, Lord, Jesus, we're in the palm of your hand. We know that you give life. We know that you take it away. And we just pray that you would preserve us. We know that you're powerful enough to do that. And he answered that prayer very clearly.

SIMON: You have a work crew at your home now, I gather...

ADAMS: Yes. We do.

SIMON: ...Trying to make it livable.

ADAMS: Well, actually, at this point, I'm not sure that there'll be any repairs for weeks, maybe months, to anyone's home. But there are crews right now that are assisting us by putting large tarps over the exposed damaged areas of our roof so that when the rains come that, you know, they'll mitigate the damage that will occur to the property inside.

SIMON: Mr. Adams, could we ask you to look out the window and tell us what things look like?

ADAMS: Oh, yes. I'm looking directly at my - what was my wood shop. That has sort of been my hobby through the years and always looked forward to having my own wood shop. And that was one of the reasons why we actually selected this house. Being able to get - finally get a shop where I could start working on my hobby in earnest was pretty exciting. And what I'm looking at right now is about a 10 to 12 foot pile of metal and wood that was my shop for about 2 1/2 years.

SIMON: Mike Adams is a compliance officer at Auburn University and spoke with us from his home in Beauregard, Ala. Good luck to you, sir.

ADAMS: Thank you so much, Mr. Simon. I appreciate it.

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