Pleasant Grove family recalls horror of being trapped in home after April 27, 2011, tornado

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

Pleasant Grove was one of the many cities in Alabama heavily hit by tornadoes that tore through the state on April 27, 2011.

Nearly 350 homes in the area were damaged or destroyed, and 10 people lost their lives.

Pleasant Grove resident Larry Brasseale said he recalls the things he remembers leading up to the storm.

“We were watching how terrible it looked in Tuscaloosa,” he said. “Matter of fact, the Tuscaloosa news was reporting it and I remember it looked so awful. I told Janice, man we need to pray for these people, they’re losing everything, they’re losing their lives. So we prayed. I know what grace is and I know what love that God has for you, but I didn’t know 45 minutes later that I would have my whole house on top of me.”

Larry and his wife Janice wound up trapped below their home until neighbors could escape their own homes and make their way over.

“I remember our neighbors were standing on top of us and they were crying,” he said. “My next-door neighbor, Kenny Epperson, was trying to find us, and he kept screaming `Larry, where y’all at?’ He was crying. So much love that he had. And he dug us out.”

They were shortly pulled from the rubble and only suffered from a few injuries that evening. As soon as they were able, the Brasseales rebuilt their home in the same spot it once stood.

Categories: Local News