Bessemer apartment complex sustains major damage in Monday tornado

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Somewhere in the debris, the clutter, the aftermath of the tornado that passed through Bessemer is Shundreka Brown’s apartment.

She was on the third floor with her two daughters Monday night when a massive storm swept through the city.

“We got in the bath tub, I got a mattress off of their bed and covered us up and then it started raining,” Brown said. “The thunder and lightning, and then all of a sudden it got eerily quiet.”

Up until that moment, Brown was on the phone with her mother. Just before the storm hit, the phone cut out.

“I knew it was coming, and the lines just kept breaking, cutting off, breaking,” said Brown’s mother, Vanessa Singleton.

Singleton will be the first one to tell you what she did next wasn’t very safe, but when she couldn’t get in touch with her daughter. She says nothing was going to stop her.

“Listen, when your children are in trouble you lost all sense,” Singleton said. “I just didn’t know what was going on, so I got in my car,  which I knew I shouldn’t have, and then when I got up here everything was so tore up I was lost.”

Imagine trying to find someone in the middle of the damage.

On Tuesday, mother and daughter returned to the apartment to see what was left. They found out it was totally destroyed.

“When it was happening it sounded major, but it does not sound the way that it actually looks right now,” Brown said.

For now, Brown and her two daughters are off to stay at their grandmother’s house, and Singleton is happy to have them close.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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