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SMITHS STATION, Ala. – The moment Troy Hardy heard the sound of the wind – loud and low as a locomotive, and a thousand times more ferocious – he knew what was coming, and he knew it was going to be bad.
The Sunday afternoon turned suddenly dark, and Troy ran indoors. “Susie!” He yelled to his wife to grab their grandson, who had been napping in the spare bedroom. “Susie! Susie!”
Lightning crackled and storm sirens wailed, and the wind that whipped down the narrow hallway was so powerful he could barely stay on his feet. A door was ripped from its hinges and went flying into him, bloodying his wrist. Troy bent into the wind, forcing himself forward. And though he knew she couldn’t hear him, he kept yelling his wife’s name over and over again.