Clean-up efforts begin after tragic Pickens County tornado

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PICKENS COUNTY, Al. (WCBI)- The National Weather service has officially rated Saturday’s tornado in Pickens County as an EF-2 with wind speeds of up to 134 miles per hour.

The storms are gone, but the cleanup efforts are just beginning.

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Those affected by the tornado are relying on help from neighbors to help them move forward.

The McDaniel family said, though their homes sustained damage, they are not in despair.

“Overall we’re going to survive it,” said Mark McDaniel. 

More than 50 years of memories swept away. 

Mark McDaniel and his family grew up in this house. His mother was still living here until a tornado ripped through, damaging parts of it.

“It hit about as fast as it left,” said McDaniel.

The wind causing the ceiling to collapse in some rooms. Other rooms were destroyed. 

“We’ve been blessed because we’ve seen a lot of tornadoes come on both sides of us but this time it come right on over on top of us,” said McDaniel. 

Devastated about the damage, but thankful for the communities outpouring.

“If it wasn’t for the community and the county people, we’d still be doing a lot,” said McDaniel. 

They are also thankful for their lives being spared.

“We’re still here. He could have took us out and he didn’t do it,” said McDaniel. 

McDaniel’s mother is grateful for their lives too.

“I have a lot of memories of raising my children on this land and in this house but I can’t forget my memories because I’ve raised my children, and I’m just thankful that to the Lord that we are still alive,” said Mrs. McDaniel. 

The McDaniel’s plan to rebuild their family home but say they are just taking it one day at a time. 

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