WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – Christine Wynn and her husband ran for shelter early Wednesday morning, holding onto each other in a closet as a strong tornado came barreling towards their Howardtown home.

“I heard it and it sounded like a train,” she said.

The high winds peeled their roof off piece by piece. The couple prayed they’d make it out alive.

“When we were in that closet I was praying so hard, we both were. This is my first time that I’ve ever experienced this and it was tough. But, we survived,” Wynn explained.

Next door Gelina Singleton and her family felt helpless as the storm cut its path across Boyd Willie Parnell Road.

“The only thing we could tell the kids was if we started spinning just hang on tight and don’t let go,” said Singleton.

A few houses down another family was terrified the tornado would flip their home. The intense winds pushed it off of blocks several feet. “It sounded like a freight train coming through,” said Andy Timothy.

Despite all of the damage, those affected say it’s brought out the best in people and the community’s support has been overwhelming.

“This community people look out for other people. It’s always been that way,” added Timothy.

The cleanup continues Thursday, but the long process of healing is just beginning. It’s a journey that likely won’t end anytime soon.

“It’ll be weeks worth of work if not months,” said Singleton.

The tornado started as an EF-1 in Greene County, MS before hitting Fruitdale and intensifying to an EF-3 tornado as the storm tore across Washington County.