Alabama mother tells harrowing tale of clinging to tree, praying to Jesus to survive storm

Published 6:20 am Thursday, March 18, 2021

An Alabama woman says she is lucky to be alive after she survived a severe storm by clinging to a tree behind her house.

Jennifer Patterson, who lives 10 miles south of Tuscaloosa, told CBS42 News that she locked herself out of her house and car while she was trying to seek shelter with her son when a tornado warning was issued for the area.

As the storm moved closer to her house, Patterson said she took shelter in a ravine near her backyard. Patterson said he held onto a small tree in the ravine to keep from being blown away in the storm.

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Patterson said she was on her phone with her son during the ordeal praying to Jesus to help. As she was enduring the winds from the storm, a large tree crashed into the family’s mobile home. The son who was inside was not hurt.

Volunteers and area fire departments quickly responded to the damage from the storm and helped rescue the Patterson’s and others in the neighborhood.

Alabama authorities received at least 16 reports of tornadoes in central Alabama during a severe weather outbreak that moved through the state Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham will conduct damage surveys over the next few days to give them official ratings for tornadoes reported in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Chilton, Autauga, Hale and Greene counties in Alabama.