Former Tuscaloosa resident speaks out about storm

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The severe weather and dangerous tornadoes Wednesday has many  on edge, especially for those who have lived through a deadly tornado. Fear, panic, words can't express how 23-year-old Mallory Osment felt. She says she was walking home from the University of Alabama just thirty minutes before the tornado came through.

"I was texting my dad, my mom, just a mass text message and told them where I was incase they had to come find me," said Mallory Osment, who knows just how scary severe weather can be. This past April, Osment was one of the many people who lived through the deadly tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

"We ran outside and it was there. I mean, you could see the debris flying off of it. I was on a direct path right to my apartment. I though the apartment was going to be gone," said Osment.

She says she was only 4 blocks from where the damage occurred. Osment took us through the experience, but the one picture that's engraved in Osment's mind is the tornado on it's path of destruction. It's a life changing experience that completely changed the way she views bad weather.

"It's a lot of anxiety. You know, every clap of thunder you hear. Now I kind of see if there's overcast outside and I'm turning on the T. V to see if there's tornado activity," said Osment.

And with severe weather predicted on the way, many individuals are on edge. Bill Smith is the Clinical Manager for St. Bernards Behavioral Health says that kind of anxiety isn't uncommon.

"There's an natural inclination to keep one's self safe. There might be a little bit of anxiety, but that's a healthy level and that's just a defense mechanism. It just built into the human system," said Smith. He says it's only when anxiety builds to the point where it affects your daily life that you should seek additional help.

As for Osment, she just feels lucky. "It's just made it extremely real for me. I just moved here, and I already know where my safe place is," said Osment.

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