PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. (WALA) - A family of four sucked out of their home by a tornado lived to tell about it. It happened in Pleasant Grove last week during the tornado outbreak in northern Alabama.
Just five minutes before the tornado struck, Lisa Stewart asked her son to do something a bit out of the ordinary.
"I was like, 'Buddy, go put your ball helmet on.' He said, "Why mom?" I said, 'Just put it on, it's going to be okay, but just to be safe,'" said Stewart.
Stewart said she has never been happier to have told her son to do something, because minutes later the killer tornado made its way to the Stewart's home.
"You hear people say it sounds like a train, a jumbo jet, a very low growl. The pressure changed," Jonathan Stewart described.
He said he knew it was time to protect his family.
"He fell over us, the roar got louder, lights went out, the house felt weightless. We weren't blown, we were sucked," said Lisa Stewart.
The entire family was in the tub in their bathroom hoping the storm would pass, but it wouldn't be long before that changed.
"I've tried to find the words to describe it, it felt like something just exploded. Like the devil coming up out of the ... it just sucked us up and he (Jonathan) just started screaming, 'Dear Lord,' at the top of his lungs, 'just protect my family,' he was just screaming," said Lisa.
Lisa said she remembers her head being dragged across the ground, but the scariest part came moments after.
"I remember at some point I guess when it slowed down for me, I was able to look up and I looked up and my eight-year-old was in the air, flying around. There was nothing I could do. The next thing I remember I was on the ground. I don't remember landing," Lisa said.
All four members of the Stewart family had been flung 30-40 yards from their home. Somehow, they all were okay, other than minor injuries.
"The Lord has a plan for us, because I don't know anyone who could have been sucked through something like that and we're standing here to tell you," said Jonathan Stewart.
The Stewart family received their first call from their insurance company Sunday. Jonathan Stewart is going to see a doctor about his broken collar bone on Monday.
"Maybe we were spared to talk to you and tell our story. I don't know what the plan is but I can't wait to see it unfold," said Jonathan.
Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service in Birmingham categorizes the tornado that went through Pleasant Grove as an EF-4 tornado with winds of at least 165 mph. Further evaluation is being conducted to see if that ranking should be upgraded.
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