Alabama Woman Slept During Tornado That Ripped Off Her Roof Of Her House

Alabama Woman Slept During Tornado That Ripped Off Her Roof Of Her House
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An Alabama woman slept soundly on her couch on Friday while a tornado ripped off part of her roof and damaged most of her home. She finally awoke when firefighters and neighbors came to check on her.


Betty Russell, who will turn 77 on December 26, said she slept through the violent storm Thursday night after she dozed off on the sofa watching TV.

She was woken by sirens from rescuers in the area after the tornado passed.


‘I didn’t know I was that heavy a sleeper,’ she said. ‘It had caved in the south side of my house and honestly I didn’t hear it. I cannot believe I didn’t hear it but I didn’t.’


Russell walked threw her debris-strewn house and looked at the hole in the ceiling of her bedroom, where she usually sleeps.

‘There is a huge hole right where her bed is,’ her grandson, Scott Russell, 13, said. ‘She usually goes to sleep in that bedroom, but for some reason she didn’t do it this time and she was saved.’


Betty Russell believes angels helped keep her safe. 


She collects small statues of angels and has them displayed on bookshelves, tables and glass cases throughout the home where she has lived since 1962.


Russell said her two most important angels are her husband and son, who died at different times both within weeks of Christmas.

‘I love angels and I was just in Rome last month in November and I just enjoyed the basilicas and other places we toured with paintings and statues of little chubby angels,’ she said. 


‘Personally, I feel like I have two angels, my son and my husband, so feel like I was looked after.’


She doesn’t know when she will start repairs to her roof, bedroom and the outside of her home. 


She plans to go ahead and spend Christmas with family in Colorado, something she was looking forward to before the storm.


In the meantime, she is counting her blessing that she wasn’t harmed.


‘I am so thankful to God,’ she said.


As passersby stopped to check out the massive trees that smashed into the house and crushed a neighbor’s SUV, the Russell family quietly salvaged what they could and marveled that she wasn’t hurt.


‘She was actually woken up by the sirens and didn’t know what happened until the fireman escorted her outside,’ daughter-in-law Phyllis Russell said.


‘We are just so thankful that she is OK. She is a strong woman and she is definitely a role model.’

James Gilbert | Elite.

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James Gilbert

World news writer James Gilbert is one of the oldest on the Elite Daily writing staff, as he is a borderline Gen Y member. Being considered the dinosaur of the group, he is constantly asked about historical time periods he did not actually live through. All and all, James Gilbert brings that dynamic and balance to the team, rounding out Elite Daily’s Voltron (or that thing the Power Rangers formed for you young whippersnappers.)

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