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Cora Jones has finished searching for survivors. In the wake of devastating tornados that hit her Alabama community, she is now making funeral arrangements for 10 loved ones.
Jones lost her parents, a brother and seven other extended family members to the twisters that cut across eastern Alabama on Sunday afternoon.
“Just why? Why this had to happen like this? To everybody that you know and love, at one time?” she said.
Jones, whose home was not damaged by the tornadoes, raced over to her parents' home and discovered it had been leveled. Jimmy Lee and Mary Louise Jones had been married for 64 years. Their son, Emanuel, who lived with their parents, also was killed.
“I didn't have no idea I would see my momma for the last time and I would have so many things to tell her and I couldn't tell her,” Jones said.
She was the person who found her father's body amid the wreckage.
“Just an image I would never get out of my head,” she said.
Several tornadoes whipped through Alabama on Sunday, killing 23 people and injuring dozens. One of the twisters had estimated wind speeds of 170 mph — classifying it as an EF4, the National Weather Service. The worst of the damage was near Beauregard, according to the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.
Benjamin Robertson was among those recovering in a hospital. He recalled how he and and his wife had huddled with their 5-year-old son in a bathroom but were blown out of the house. Incredibly, they all survived.
"Thankfully everybody's still alive and breathing,” he said.