MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The Ryland area was one of the hardest hit areas in Madison County Tuesday night, especially the Central Estates Neighborhood, and Flint Ridge Horse Farm.
35 Horses Survive Tornado
You don't have to be a horse person, to appreciate the love many of the owners out at Flint Ridge have for their four-legged friends. "I think we’re probably still in shock," says owner Heidi Rose. “Seeing that things are gone like they weren’t even there."
Heidi came out early Wednesday morning to find the main barn's roof gone, part of their green barn destroyed, trees snapped in all directions like toothpicks, and debris scattered all over.
An indoor dressage arena was also a total loss. The only part still standing was a stall for a horse and two ponies. Miraculously, they all made it out alive.
In fact, all 35 horses out at Flint Ridge survived. Heidi says there can only be one explanation. “The hand of God came down over the barn," she says.
Hands of neighbors were busy throughout the day Wednesday. Just like an old-fashioned Southern barn raising, church groups and members of the horse community leant a hand in the daunting cleaning-up process. “There’s a lot of work, a lot more than insurance can cover," says Rose.
Woman Survives Tornado Because of her Safe Place
Melody Davis found herself in a similar scenario, Wednesday afternoon. “Everything in my house is damaged pretty much," says Davis.
When she heard the tornado warning on her cell phone, she leapt into her closet Tuesday night. “That’s when this big rumbling came through and it felt like pressure was trying to lift stuff up," she says.
When Davis emerged, she found her entire roof had collapsed into her home. “All my furniture, my walls," says Davis.
Had she been anywhere else in the house, she knows the story might have ended differently. “If I hadn’t been there, who knows what would have happened, but... not a scratch," she says.
Both property owners are counting their blessings because things can be replaced, but not the ones we love.
Flint Ridge Farm and Melody Davis both have contractors coming back out Thursday to begin the reconstruction process. Melody has been told, most of her damage will be covered by insurance. but the same can't be said for Flint Ridge Farm.
Horse owners have set up a Go-Fund Me page for the farm.