Remembering the Deadly Lee County Tornado, Two Years Later

March 3, 2019, is a date that will be remembered forever by countless people in Lee County. That’s the day an EF-4 tornado, with winds up to 170 mph, hit the Beauregard community. The storm killed 23 people.

Two years later, people in Lee County took time to remember those killed and those who were lucky to survive.

Even today, people continue to help the families who lost so much during the storm — their belongings, their homes and their loved ones.

Carol Dean had her new home dedicated today that was built with the help of the United Way of Lee County.

“I have seen so much love I have never seen like this before, and I thank God for it, first because if it wasn’t for Him it would not have been possible. He brought all of this together,” she said.

Dean lost her home and her husband in the tornado. Her new home is in the same spot where her former home once stood.

She was not the first to have a new home dedicated to her.

“They committed to doing three homes at first. At the end of the day today, they did 19,” Lee County Emergency Management Agency Director Rita Smith said.

Today’s events included a memorial at the Lee County Courthouse in Opelika, a moment of silence in Smiths Station, which also received damage from the tornado, and a candlelight vigil at Providence Baptist Church in Opelika.

There is still work left to do. That will continue in the months and years to come.


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