Lawrence County residents ask for more storm shelters after suffering packed conditions

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. -- Last night people tweeted and sent in photos of shelters packed and filled. As many hunkered down waiting out the worst of the storm - some found themselves unable to get inside their community shelter.

"You can't just leave that door open but at the same time, how can you close that door and there are other people here that need to get in?" asked Kaye Hill, a Caddo resident.

As a large storm system swept through north Alabama, these people sought shelter at the only place close by.

"The shelter was totally packed and we barely made it inside the front of the shelter there," said Kaye Hill.

A family separated. "I couldn't see them, they couldn't see me, I couldn't hear them, they couldn't hear me," explained Jessica Hill.

A mother trying to calm her child. "She was really scared," said Cara Shelton of her one-year-old daughter.

A young man facing a tough decision. "I just got that mindset that you know, I would much rather five other people live than them die and me live," said Jorden Nolen.

People who were there said that the shelter was packed. People sitting in the middle bench, back to back, lining the side benches and standing in between.

Cara Shelton posted a photo of her mother-in-law and daughter during the chaos. "My husband's away on a business trip and just wanted to send him something to let him know that we were okay."

But people in the area feel that the roughly 40-foot long space would have been fine if there were more options. "If we could just get more shelters that would definitely help out," said Kaye

But maybe there is a silver lining? "That was a comment somebody made in the shelter last night. That if you didn't know everyone already in the shelter you certainly did after that experience," said Shelton.

Bringing a community together.

County officials told WHNT News 19 that while they would want to build more shelters - they would need to find funds possibly from the state and someone would have to donate the land.