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CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WJW) — Members of an Alabama family had to form a human chain to save one of their relatives as a tornado bore down on their property Wednesday.

Tommy Cox said those family members were nearly sucked away by the fierce winds.

“My family’s safe,” he said. “We’re OK. Nobody got hurt. That’s all that’s important. The Lord got us through this, and we just give him all the praise.”

Severe weather, including tornados, left splintered homes and broken trees across Alabama and Mississippi and moved into Georgia and Florida on Thursday.

The National Weather Service office in central Alabama said teams were fanning out Thursday to assess damage in at least 12 counties where tornadoes may have touched down.

Cox said he was in his basement when he heard the storm coming. He said it sounded like a train.

His sister, who lives in the house next door, had just pulled up and was trying to get out of her car.

“It was just sucking her away. The wind was pulling her away from the car. She was trying to get into the basement,” said Cox.

His son, whose nearby home was destroyed during the tornado, went to the door to grab ahold of her hand, pulling her and trying to get her in.

“It started pulling both of them, so my youngest son went out the door and grabbed a hold of them, and it was like a human chain and pulled her into the basement,” said Cox.

They were all able to get into a corner in the back of the basement.

“And then it hit,” he said. “It hit. Stuff started flying, busting through the walls in the basement and doors. It was just chaos.”

It’s believed two tornadoes touch down in Chilton County.