Pelham man survives storm that ripped home apart

Local News

PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — James Dunaway never made it to his safe place when a storm swept through Pelham Thursday afternoon. Somehow, he still survived.

Dunaway was lying on his bed watching TV when a weather alert popped up on his cell phone. He got up and started walking down his hallway, headed for the basement. Before he could make it there, the storm struck his house, pulling off a wall and much of the roof.

“I was lucky that I’m not over there on top of that house,” he said pointing toward his neighbor’s home.

The TV Dunaway had been watching got blown away, along with the bed he was lying on. The wall to the room was ripped off. Dunaway came away with nothing but scratches and bruises.

“Luckily I didn’t have any broken bones or anything like that,” Dunaway said. “I’m just glad to be alive” he said.

Dunaway’s home was one of around 60 damaged by Thursday’s storm. City of Pelham leaders said crews would be out Friday assessing damage and making sure the area is safe for volunteers to begin the cleanup process Saturday. Dunaway knows it will be a long process.

“I didn’t sleep any,” he said. “All this stuff running through my mind – what am I going to do about my cars, where we’re going to stay, what we’re going to do. And with my health like it is, I had enough problems already with that. And it’s really put me in a bind.”

The city of Pelham is collecting donations for storm victims. The Pelham Recreation Center is serving as a drop-off location.

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