TUSCALOOSA, AL (BRAIN)—One Alabama bike shop considers itself extremely fortunate to have been spared from the deadly tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night.
“The town’s pretty much shut down,” said Scott Peterson, who works in sales for Velo City Pro Cycle on 4th Street. “Right now we’re one of only a few places that have power.”
People were streaming through the doors, not to buy bikes, but rather to charge cell phones and to have roofing nails removed from car tires.
The death toll has now risen to 280 from the tornadoes and thunderstorms that ripped through the area on Wednesday night. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimated there were 164 tornadoes Wednesday, a new record for a single storm system in modern times.
Peterson said some of their customers have definitely been impacted by the tornado, and that they’re still trying to get in touch with them. Fortunately, none of their employees were hurt or had any major damage to their properties.
“It crossed about 200 yards away from a few of them,” Peterson said. “They were hiding in their closets.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal toured the tornado area yesterday morning and said, "It's hard to imagine nature can be this devastating."