South Elgin Mother Relieved Son Survived Tornado

By Kim Vatis
|  Wednesday, May 4, 2011  |  Updated 11:37 PM CDT
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Elgin High School graduate studying at University of Alabama took cover in basement.

Elgin High School graduate studying at University of Alabama took cover in basement.

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A South Elgin mother is touting the power of prayer after her son, a University of Alabama junior, had a brush with death during this week's tornado.

Curled up in his basement with his dog as the storm passed overhead, Andy Rees Freeman, a graduate of Elgin High School, admitted he was "scared."

"We heard a lot of noise and wind, it was really intense," he said via telephone from from Tuscaloosa.

A tree crashed onto his bedroom, and when it was all over, he said he couldn't believe what he saw.

"It was like a movie.. unbelievable," he said, adding that he never imagined it would be as bad as it was when he walked up the stairs.

The tornado destroyed homes on each side of his.

His mom got a call from his sister that the tornado hit. It's the one night Mary Rees Freeman said she was not watching the news.

She tuned in and thought, "Oh my God.  Where is he at?"

Because the lines were so busy her son couldn't get through until 90 minutes later, sending a text saying he was OK.

Under the circumstances, Rees Freeman said it seemed like an "eternity," and said she wasn't satisfied until she could speak to her son.

"When you hear his voice saying, 'I'm OK,' it's the best of everything," she said.

She has been on his Facebook page looking at the photos of the tree over his room, the debris on his bed and the flattened homes of neighbors.

She did get a chuckle on a comment made to a photo of his debris-tarnished bed telling him to make the bed if he was going to post photos of his room.

"You have to have some of those things to release the tension," she said.

They family has other relatives in the area.  They, too, are all OK.

Rees Freeman does a lot of mission work and is hoping to steer her next mission down there to help. Believing in prayer and her faith, she said "I must be living right."

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