Local News

Sanford man safe, struggling after storm-propelled bathtub ride

Posted April 22, 2011 4:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 22, 2011 6:45 p.m. EDT

— A Sanford man lost everything but his life Saturday when a tornado picked him up from his second-floor apartment and dumped him outdoors.

Billy Hardaway huddled in his bathtub as the storm approached. "Next thing I know, I was hurled in the air, with the tub and all, spinning around."

While he was unhurt, Hardaway's apartment and all his belongings were blown away by the tornado as it tracked northeast from Lee County to the state capital.

Hardaway and others are depending on the generosity of family, friends and organizations like the Red Cross to rebuild their lives.

At the Horner Boulevard Kmart, volunteers served up lunch Friday and gave out groceries for all comers. 

"This is a blessing sent from God," said Darryl Barkley. "When the community can come together and help people in need, I'm very grateful for it."

Turnout was light as an afternoon rainstorm passed over Sanford, but Red Cross representatives planned to be on site until 6:30 p.m.

Hardaway is staying with a friend, but for something as small as a toothbrush, he came to the Red Cross. "Anything they can help with, it will be appreciated," he said.

The Salvation Army is collecting clothing and furniture for storm victims at all stores, including the Sanford location at 305 S. Steele St.