Moundville resident Ryan Lavender is grateful to be alive after losing his roof during the tornado that passed through parts of Tuscaloosa County Wednesday afternoon.

Lavender, who lives off Highway 69, was sheltered in his home while the tornado tore through Hale and Tuscaloosa Counties.

“I didn’t know what was wrong with the house,” Lavender said in an interview with Steve Shannon and Meg Summers on 95.3 the Bear. “I just knew that I wanted to stay put for the entirety of it.”

Lavender was sent home early from work and was watching a Facebook live video of the storm when he noticed that the tornado was about two miles away from his home.

“I grabbed my dog and got in a little bitty tiny closet,” Lavender said. “I barely fit in there and waited for about five minutes. All of a sudden, everything got quiet really quick and then I started hearing a really low rumble.”

Lavender described the unusual sound he heard “like two speakers when they get too close to each other.”

As the tornado passed over Lavender’s home, he recalled seeing light coming into the closet and feeling gusts of wind.

“I opened the door, looked around and my roof was gone,” Lavender said. “There was just a bunch of insulation and two-by-fours everywhere.”

While the damage to Lavender’s home is devastating, he is grateful to come out of the tornado unscathed.

“God definitely had his hand on me,” Lavender said. “It’s a blessing I’m still here today. One minor thing could have happened differently and I could have been severely hurt, injured - perhaps even worse. God had his hand on me today.”

To stay updated on severe weather information as it becomes available, stay tuned here, or check out The Tuscaloosa Thread.
Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa's Operation Storm Watch is brought to you by Safe-T Shelter. Visit their website here to see their selection of residential and commercial safe rooms and storm shelters. To contact a Safe-T Shelter representative, click here to visit their Facebook page.

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