LUCKY TO BE ALIVE

A LOCAL man is lucky to be alive after escaping the worst of a series of major tornadoes that swept through America last week, killing hundreds.

A LOCAL man is lucky to be alive after escaping the worst of a series of major tornadoes that swept through America last week, killing hundreds.

Barry McGahon, originally from Doylesfort Grove on the Doylesfort Road in Dundalk, was in the eye of the storm when a number of the tornadoes visited his current hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

Fortunately for the 25-year-old - who played twice for Dundalk FC during the 2003 season before his move to America - he escaped the worst of the impact.

At present there are an estimated 342 people dead as a result of the worst tornado to hit America in decades and many of those dead resided in Barry’s area - where he lives with his wife Rachel. Thousands more are without basic facilities like running water and a major fundraising initiative is underway in America to help those affected.

Speaking about his experience, the former St Mary’s College student said it was a surreal experience and that he still felt like he was watching a movie rather than living through it.

He said: “Our house is still in good nick but like my whole neighbourhood is gone.

“We’ve still no power and the scenes are like something out of a movie.”

Barry quickly notified friends and family via Facebook that he was okay following the tornado and said he was now looking to help whoever he could in Birmingham.

He said: “All I can do is wait to see who I can help because at the moment they won’t let anyone around because there are still so many bodies lying around.

“It is so surreal at the moment,” he said.