Alabama Tornado Survivor Sends Message Of Love, Reassurance To Daughter In Oklahoma


Thursday, May 5th 2011, 6:55 pm
By: News On 6


Ashli Sims, News On 6

HOLT, Alabama -- The story may have dropped out of the headlines, but folks in the South are still reeling from last week's deadly tornado outbreak. Families in Oklahoma are still trying to reach loved ones caught up in the storm.

News On 6 sent a crew to survey the damage in Alabama firsthand. They ended up in Holt, which is not far from Tuscaloosa. There they found a tornado survivor who has a message for the Sooner State.

After last week's vicious tornado leveled whole towns in the South, the search for victims and survivors continue. One rescue team sorts through the rubble, even when homes look like they've been leveled.

"I'm just amazed, amazed. I'm just amazed that a lot us were blessed to be here, to walk out," Shirley Baker said.

Somehow Shirley Baker managed to ride out the storm in her basement closet, while her two-story home crumbled around her.

"There's truly a God in heaven. I do know that," she said. "You couldn't hide from this. He had to physically wrap his arms around us all for us to walk away from this."

Through her tears, Shirley Baker found a way to smile and send a message to the Oklahoma daughter she hadn't been able to talk to since the storm.

"Shameka, I love you and I'm alive," she said with a laugh.

Looking at what's left of her mother's home, Shameka says she can hardly believe her eyes.

"I'm just shocked. I could have lost her. There is a God. We have a whole new relationship," she said, laughing. "I'm happy to see her smiling, but I know she's shook up. I know she's hurting behind this."

Although her mother wanted to reassure her, Shameka wants to assure her mother things will get better.

"Tell her I love her and to stay strong. We'll get through this. It's going to be ok," she said.

Last week's tornado outbreak was the deadliest, since the great depression. Folks throughout the south are still in need.

Several organizations in Oklahoma are stepping in to help. Tulsa Police is collecting items for first responders in Alabama and Mississippi. You can drop off items at the Riverside Division this week.

5/2/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Police To Help In Tornado Relief In Alabama, Mississippi

5/3/2011 Related Story: Oklahomans Collect Donations, Supplies For Tornado, Flood Victims