Alabama community copes with devastating loss following deadly tornado in Pickens County

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CARROLLTON, Ala. (WIAT) — The Carrollton community is sifting through debris after an EF2 tornado tore through a Pickens County neighborhood.

CBS 42 spoke with family members of Tyrone Spain. They say Spain was the life of the party and always went out of his way to help others.

“Tyrone is like, every time you see him, he’s smiling. He’s just live, all the time. He’s the same way every time you see him. If he can help you, he’ll help you out, you know what I’m saying,” said Jarviell Jackson, Spain’s nephew.

All that was left of his home was the concrete slab it sat on. Jackson says seeing that empty space is a reminder of how short life is.

“You can be here one day and then the next it all be gone. It just hurts to know it ain’t there. It’s gone. And he’s gone,” said Jackson.

Family members tell CBS 42 Spain’s funeral will be on Saturday, January 18th. Spain is survived by his 28-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. He owned a car wash business in Carrolton and Aliceville, as well as Spain Taxi Service in Tuscaloosa.

Just down the road is Shirley McCary’s home. She and her seven family members hunkered down in the hallway. They all made it through the storm unharmed.

“Trees like breaking. They were just breaking. You could hear them breaking and tumbling. And the only place I could go was in the hallway,” said McCary.

Joyce Pruitt Herndon’s childhood home was destroyed. She and her family spent the day salvaging what they could.

“It really hurts. Because I grew up here. I graduated from the high school here. And you know, it really hurts because this is the second time I’ve seen this happen,” said Herndon.

The American Red Cross has been on-site Sunday, offering aid to families in Carrollton. Alabama Power and Mississippi Power have been working around the clock to restore power,  and are expected to be here for at least one more day.

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