- Associated Press - Sunday, March 5, 2017

ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) - Ten years ago, Theresa Frusha was seven months pregnant and covering her two children with her own body in a bathtub while a tornado ripped her house apart.

“The entire roof blew off,” she said. “The only two rooms that held up were the bathrooms. Open the bathroom door and we were outside.”

The morning of March 1, 2017 had followed Frusha’s usual routine. After working at her natural food store, Living Tree Health Foods, Frusha returned home with her two children, ages 2 and 10, who she was homeschooling at the time. Frusha heard the announcement that severe weather was on the way, and by the time she arrived home emergency sirens were already blaring.

Frusha quickly herded her children into the bathroom and covered herself with cushions and her children with her own body as the storm began to rage around her home.

“We heard this noise that sounded like keys rattling, but it was the windows shaking,” she said. “Soon the power went out and before long the roof blew off.”

A decade after the event, memories of the tornado are almost dream-like to Fruscha.

“I don’t know how to say it, but it was almost an exhilarating feeling,” she said. “200 mile per hour winds - there’s nothing like it.”

Fruscha said that for a time after the tornado she would become anxious whenever a severe weather report aired on television or the radio, but those feelings have long passed.

“It did make me become more educated about weather systems,” she said.

Frusha said that one good memory she had of the tornado was how the Enterprise community pulled together after the storm. She remembers neighbors helping to clear her property after the storm and offering other aid.

“Our community always comes together in a crisis,” she said. “It didn’t matter what race or religion or preference you were, everyone helped everyone.”

Today, Frusha is still operating her natural foods store.

“It’s not really work, it’s my passion,” she said.

The child she was pregnant with at the time of the storm is now nine years old. Frusha said she’s talked with her daughter a little bit about the storm, but not much.

“It’s not really real for her,” she said.


Information from: The Dothan Eagle, https://www.dothaneagle.com

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