• 46°

Bad weather blows through area

The Williamsons' AC unit was ripped up from its foundation. | Submitted Photo

The Williamsons’ AC unit was ripped up from its foundation. | Submitted Photo

Jessica Williamson is thanking her stars.

The Taft Skipper Road resident, along with her two daughters, are safe and sound despite experiencing the force of nature that was the F-1 tornado that blew through the area earlier this week.

Williamson said she awoke to the sound of a “freight train.”

“For some unknown reason, my weather alert didn’t go off and I was woken up by the sound of a freight train coming toward our house,” she said. “At that moment, the walls began to shake, waking my 11-and-7-year-old daughters. This rattled us so badly that it knocked everything off of our walls.”

Williamson said many things started flying throughout her home, including cracked mirrors.

“That was the most helpless moment I’ve ever experienced as a mother,” she said. “I got everyone into a central bathroom with no windows and faced the far wall of our home, not expecting it to stand much longer, which praise God it did.”

Williamson said the whole ordeal lasted about 2-3 minutes.

In her yard, devastation could be seen. A large oak fell within inches of the room where her daughters were sleeping. Additionally, the Williamson’s pier and A/C unit were ripped up.

“Although we have a mess, we were so very blessed (Monday),” she said. “Our daughters are shaken, but fine and that’s worth more than any material things we have lost.”

In another area of the county, Butler County EMA Director Shirley Sandy said she thinks that a F-1 tornado touched down near the Brushy Creek area.

For an F-1 tornado, wind speeds can reach between 73-112 miles per hour.

Sandy said most of the damage in the county occurred in Georgiana.

“There were no injuries or no major damage to homes or structures,” she said. “There were a lot of trees down.”

Other than Bushy Creek, there were no other areas that saw significant damage, including Greenville, Sandy said.

With all of the wind that blew through the county, a cold front is slated to follow right behind.

Sandy said the county is looking at lows at around 20 degrees in the coming days.

“Everybody needs to check their heaters and buckle down,” she said.

Sandy said residents need to run their water pipes, along with checking their plants, pets and the elderly.

For those who need assistance, Sandy said the EMA office won’t be providing shelter, but will be providing assistance and blankets for warmth for the elderly or those who need them. The EMA’s office number is 334-382-7991.