Twister destroys house for the second time in Pickens County


PICKENS COUNTY, Ala. (WCBI) – Angela Sullivan has spent the last few days picking through what’s left of her belongings.

It’s a feeling that’s far too familiar.

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Saturday’s storm marked the second time a twister has destroyed her house. The first time was back in 1974 when Angela was just 10-years-old.

“We were watching WCBI Television news, and it comes across the scanner for us to take cover in this area… My dad said ‘Oh, shut the TV off. It’s not anywhere near here.’ As soon as he said that, my mother stood up, and she got knocked down… The storm came, and I was knocked out,” said Sullivan.

Ten years after that, another tornado passed through the Settlement community.

“Back in ’84, I expected it to happen again. At that moment was when it hit down the street from us about three miles. It killed a lady and her father,” said Sullivan.

This time, when Angela heard severe weather was a possibility, she was prepared and headed for the local shelter.

“Because I had grandchildren with me, so that really prompted me to get up out of here,” said Sullivan.

Within minutes of the storm hitting, Angela got a call she’s been dreading for the past 40 years.

“I didn’t think that it was going to happen. I just didn’t think it’d happen to us,” said Sullivan.

“I just remember family, and I felt like, it’s gone. It’s lost,” said Sullivan’s nephew, Rufus Pruitt.

Many people believe tornados follow the same path. Scientifically speaking, that may not be the truth.

“It’s kind of like lightning. People think lightning doesn’t strike twice. It does. Tornados will go anywhere they want. It’s just random… You can see the map here, all spots may see a tornado at some point, but most spots won’t, and some spots will get hit multiple times,” said WCBI Chief Meteorologist Keith Gibson.

Regardless of where she falls on the storm path, Angela said she isn’t going anywhere.

“This is home for me, and yes I do want to come back here because I love this area… I truly believe in God. I have strong faith, and I know that God is my protector,” said Sullivan.

Angela said she believes the situation would have been completely different had she not taken her family to the nearby storm shelter.