Boaz family survives tornado in bathroom

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 2:14 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Easter 2020 will be remembered as a destructive, but not deadly day in Boaz.

James Clay said he’s focused on the positive outcomes of Sunday’s EF-2 tornado in Boaz. He said his daughter, son-in-law and grandkids barely survived after their entire house, except the bathroom was wiped out.

“The pile in the center, you can see the door header at the top of the bathroom," Clay said. "They were in there and the kids were in the bathtub, my daughter was laying on top of the kids and my son-in-law was behind her.”

All that is left of Jake, Haley, Connor and Barrett LyBrand’s home is a pile in the center, where the bathroom is. That is where the family rode out the storm.

“I’m emotional, I almost lost my kids and my grandkids, they mean the world to me," he said. "But thank God they’re alive, they’re alive.”

Clay said it all started when the tornado sirens rang and he got a call from Haley Sunday night.

“My daughter called me hysterical, they had been hit, they were trapped in the bathroom," Clay said. “She said they couldn’t get out, come help us, so I jumped in my truck headed this way but I couldn’t get through, there were trees down everywhere.”

Luckily, Clay said the family’s neighbors helped them get out of the crushed bathroom to safety.

"It was just an Easter miracle, God saved them."

He said there were a few x-rays and stitches, but nothing too serious.

Now, they’re working to salvage what they can from what used to be their home.

“That’s what our first priority is, getting stuff that really means something, because all the rest can be replaced," Clay said.

The tornado may have cause a lot of damage in Boaz but Clay is taking a different outlook.

“It’s a miracle, God protected them,” he said. "Easter Sunday, that bad of storm, look at the house. God protected my kids and my grandkids.

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