Alabama storm victim to spend first Mother's Day in shelter
Leicia Fairchild and her son, Christian, survived last week's devastating storms in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
May 7th, 2011
09:07 PM ET

Alabama storm victim to spend first Mother's Day in shelter

Leicia Fairchild had only one thing on her mind as a tornado ripped apart her home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, last week.

"My son, my son, I got to get to my son," Fairchild recalls.

Fairchild was relieved to find her 8-week-old son, Christian, unharmed in her mother's home down the hill. But her elation has turned into despair as she gets ready to spend her first Mother's Day in a shelter with more than 200 others displaced by last week's devastating storms.

"I pictured Mother's Day at home with his father, and happy and everything, and it's far from happy. I’m in a shelter with my son," she said.

The American Red Cross set up the shelter just a few miles outside Tuscaloosa, where a massive tornado cut a 5.9-mile-long path of destruction last week. More than 5,700 structures were damaged and destroyed, affecting an estimated 13,700 people, a mayoral spokeswoman said. The city has held off on releasing an official count of the dead, but CNN last reported the death toll at 50.

Ground zero in Tuscaloosa: Horror and hope, tears and prayers

Fairchild was sitting at home with the father of her baby when she heard a loud noise and looked out the window and saw a tornado heading for her house.

"We ran and just dove under the sink and the whole house lifted up and started to go with the wind, and we were just praying to God the whole time and all I could think about was my baby,” Fairchild said Saturday as she sat in the shelter's cafeteria.

Before the storm had ended, she was running down the hill to see if her mother's home was still there.

"They pulled nails out of my feet where I had to run through my house. We had to climb over a huge tree that landed on our house that was blocking the door, and I had to climb over that tree. I was determined to get to my son."

The child was unharmed. Fairchild's mother and the boy's father also survived, but their homes were destroyed.

Fairchild hopes to leave the shelter soon and move into an apartment. Her first Mother's Day wasn’t supposed to be like this.

"He's a blessing. I get to tell him he lived through a tornado at 8 weeks old."

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Filed under: Alabama • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. Jess

    I live in a white dominated state and still dont hear or see the hatred I have read here. I sure hope that her baby can grow up in a world where he will not be judged for color or race and only on who he is as a person. If i said half the crap people on here have i know my mom would kick my (white) butt right where i belonged.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • True Freedom to Associate

      Jess that's obvious and that is the way it should be: Multiculturalism breeds resentment and the kind of stuff you see here and allover the southeast and Atlantic States, Detroit and everywhere that divergent cultures are forced to be together.

      Personally I think the path to peace is for each ethnicity to have their own territory and only venture out for vacation if its safe.

      There is a reason whites from mostly all white parts are not bitter about race mixing propaganda, affirmative action, and the destruction of white heritage. You never have to deal with it or others referring to your ancestors as "blue eyed devils" or white devils.!

      May 9, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. BynnyLynn

    My name is no more genuine than yours, Brass Tacky...

    May 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Martha

    Wasn't there a SNL skit called "Incest Tornado Trailer" or something? Really! It's true...disgusting, but very funny!

    May 8, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Martha


    May 8, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. ma & pa

    you people talking so cruel out of your backsides about an innocent child, a helpless baby, should put those damaging words back where they came from so their foulness could hurt you, instead of the innocent. we are all human beings. we build a good world by being good to each other, not vile. let's keep the shadows of hatred and bigotry off the children, at least, so they can grow in peace, wisdom and kindness towards a gentler, truer world.

    May 8, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Genevieve from Seattle

    Leicia, I hope you are still reading comments. I am a mother from Seattle and I wish I could help you in some way. I know you could help yourself, but from one mother to another, I admire you and I know that you are a million times stronger than I am. For me to sit here in my house seems wrong. You should be in your house, happy and with the ones you love and the comforts of home. You are an amazing woman and never EVER listen to crap from the masses. You and your lovely child are blessed. You are what Mothers Day is all about, and I swear, tomorrow I will be thinking of you and your triumphs. CNN has turned into some crap journalism, but know that some good people still read it and we sympathize with what you are going through. You may be in a shelter, but look down at your beautiful child, and you will be home.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Genevieve from Seattle

    Wow. I am appalled at your ignorance. You make me so sad to live in this country with your hatred. Every child is beautiful.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mitch

    Bbbbbut ... that kid could be the next Obama! Shame on you!

    May 8, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Diane

    I hope the child's Father also survived...??

    May 8, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Genevieve from Seattle

    John, John, John, how could you say something like that!?!?!?!? What is wrong with you people??? I am in shock at the comments. Total Shock.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Johnny

    Ok, maybe I will be the first one to say it: that mom is smoking hot! You know, my apartment was not hit by the tornado and it's located in a very decent neighborhood. Perhaps arrangements can be made???

    May 8, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mel

    I am praying that you people are joking. Is there something wrong in your brain? Also, the article does mention the father of the child. Perhaps you should read it again and pay attention this time.

    May 8, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelis

      They're not married. Who gets married nowadays?

      May 8, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Deecheri

    Enough with the rude, outlandish and hurtful comments. If the people saying these hateful things truly loved themselves they would find it extremely hard to direct their hate towards a complete and total stranger because of her choices or beliefs. Time to do some soul searching people, you can't be at peace with yourselves when you treat other human beings with such utter disdain & blatant disrespect. What is this world coming to?

    May 8, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      Really, it's not worth the effort. They will be ignorant until they die.

      May 8, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. The Dude

    Another stupid white girl getting played by a black man....

    May 8, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • kansas

      Interesting how dumb you are...

      May 8, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Interesting how correct you are. Snowflake got played.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wow

    man those melons are huge

    May 8, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
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