His residence is a pile of rubble and also he"s in the hospital, but Alabama dad Reginald Eppes considers himself lucky - after ~ his 8-year-old to be sucked right into a tornado and also survived.

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the happened at an early stage Wednesday when howling winds lifted Reginald Jr. Turn off his optimal bunk bed and into the swirling darkness.

"I was getting to up for him, but my hands never made it. The walls crumpled like paper, and also he simply went v them," Eppes, 35, said the everyday News from local Medical center in Tuscaloosa.

The Coaling, Ala., dad stated he easily threw his body end 6-year-old James-Peter when his mam shielded their 4-year-old boy. They prayed in a huddle together the rain soaked them.

"It was prefer a nightmare. I wasn"t sure exactly what was happening," that explained. "I just hosted on come what ns had and asked God because that protection."

"I looked up and also saw a silhouette, his small shadowy number walking back over the debris," Eppes recounted. "It was wonderful. Friend can"t explain the relief."

The boy had a gash ~ above his neck and bumps top top his head, however a CT scan was an unfavorable and doctors discovered no interior injuries.

"He stated it was favor he to be floating in the air and then just floated back down," stated the grateful dad, who likewise suffered a broke down left lung.

as Eppes recovered Friday, president Obama toured the heart of Dixie and also pledged "maximum commonwealth help" for the deadliest tornado outbreak because the good Depression.

"I"ve never seen damage like this. It"s heartbreaking," Obama stated as that spoke through stunned Tuscaloosa inhabitants amid mountains of debris, overturned cars, downed strength lines and also uprooted trees piled favor matchsticks.

The fatality toll native Wednesday"s devastating string of tornados increased to 318 yesterday and also is intended to rise higher.

The outbreak is now considered the most deadly since 1932, when 332 human being lost your lives, all in Alabama.

Officials said 228 world were shown dead in Alabama if 33 died in Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, five in Virginia and also one in Kentucky.

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brand-new York-based Red cross volunteers quickly hopped on airplane to key in through the region"s lengthy road to recovery.

"We"re make the efforts to stop PTSD by mirroring them just how to take care of themselves," Queens-based mental health counselor Hun-Jue Luu, 46, said the News. "The an obstacle is to get them to patience down and go ago to their previous life."