“I know the good Lord was watching over me, because how that little tree held me, I will never know.”


A central Alabama woman is counting her blessings after surviving yesterday's severe storms outside her home.

Speaking with WIAT, Jennifer Patterson recalled how she found herself clinging to a small tree as a tornado descended upon her property about 10 miles south of Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon.

After a tornado warning was issued for nearby Moundville, Patterson rushed out of her mobile home to take shelter with her son at his house. After shutting the door behind her, she realized she'd locked herself out—to both her house and her car.

"I realized I didn't have my keys, so I took a screwdriver and was trying to get the [front] door open and get my keys," Patterson told the local Birmingham news station. "I just kept messing with it and messing with it, and [with the warning] in Moundville—that is not that far away—I thought, 'I don't have time for this.'"

Stranded, alone, and with the storm moving closer, Patterson ran to a nearby ravine and took shelter under some brush as a large tree split her home in half, crushing her couch.

"All I could do was say 'Jesus watch over me, Jesus watch over me,' and then it kept going and going and finally I said 'Jesus take it away,' and it's just like you could hear it easing up," she told WIAT. "Not knowing if I was ever going to see my family, at any moment, I just knew with the wind the way it was, and everything cracking around me, and I'm holding onto a little ol' tree, and all I could think about at that time was this is it."

When the tornado finally dissipated, Patterson emerged from the ravine to a scene of absolute destruction. Her home and her car were obliterated, yet she was miraculously unharmed.

"My son told me, 'Mother you realize had you not got out of that trailer and you were sitting on that couch, you wouldn't be here today,'" she told the station.

"I know the good Lord was watching over me, because how that little tree held me, I will never know."

You can help her rebuild by donating to her GoFundMe here.