Mobile, Ala. (WPMI) It lasted less than a minute, but for Stephanie Collins, it's a moment that will last her a lifetime.
"My kids just come out of nowhere just screaming and I just gripped all of my children in my arms," said the excited mother. "And, I mean, I'm just shaking with the house!"
What had Collins and her family shaking was what has now been deemed a tornado, initially touching the ground at Airport and I-65, then raking across Dauphin Street to a neighborhood on Sage Avenue.
That's where Sonyia Johnson owns a beauty shop. Well, part of one, anyway. She inserted the key to unlock the door to a total wreck.
"I know," she said, as the door swung open to reveal the mess. "You know, my mind isn't thinking like that."
On the other side of that door, Sonyia can see the spot where she used to stand and style hair. She can also look up now, and see the sky.
"My chair's here and I do hair right here," she said, pointing. "That's our waiting area. This was drawers where I keep all my stuff. My TV was there. See where I keep my TV?"
It wasn't there.
All around Sonyia's shop there is damage, branches through roofs and, sometimes, no roof at all. In some cases, flying debris spared few car windows. But the storm did spare lives.
Stephanie Collins sees it as a positive sign from God.
"People need to pray," said Stephanie, breathlessly, "and do what they have to do because there is a God, cause we're still standing here right now, we ain't dead!"
As for Sonyia, she says she's down, but not out. She hopes she can open half a shop soon. And when somebody in the future tells her they're having a bad hair day?
"I'll refer them back to this day!" she said, smiling in the middle of what she has left.