Family survives Ala. tornado after truck flips 7 times

    8:55 PM, Apr 29, 2011   |    comments
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    PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (KFSM) -- The death toll across the southeast continued to climb today to 329. In Alabama alone, 238 died. Our CBS sister station KFSM in Northwest Arkansas sent a reporter to Alabama to cover the devastation.

    Robert Boyd brings us this story of survival from the small town of Phil Campbell, where the tornado killed 26 people.

    "I came out on the porch, I seen the tornado coming right across there, so I get em all in the truck, we were going to leave, then the tornado comes takes us way up in the air and flips us about 7 times."

    Jennifer Rupley was in the back of this truck with her 12-year-old son and 15-year-old nephew. "I just throwed them in the back of the truck, and laid on top of them," she says.

    Rupley says it hurts just to move; she suffered bruises.

    "Thank you God. I just lost my husband a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't stand losing my baby. He's got a gash in his neck, he lost a lot of blood, he's banged up, but he's doing good."

    Across the street, neighbors searched for 25-year-old Michael McLemore. His mom hasn't seen him since the tornado hit.

    "I'm worried to death, I'm worried, what do you think happened? I'm not wanting to think that, I'm not wanting to think that," says his mom, Lesia McLemore.

    Residents say they don't know what to think next. Their life as they know it has changed forever.

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