At least 12 people were injured when a tornado passed through a rural part of Lawrence County around 9:00 p.m. last night. State police say all of the injuries appear to be minor. Nonetheless, the damage to some homes, outbuildings and vehicles was severe.
Homes were in some cases completely flattened, others were lifted off their foundations. On either side of Route 50, cars were laying on their tops smashed and with shattered windshields.
Resident Vicki Lee watched as the tornado slammed into her neighbor’s house.
“It was scary,” she said, “and you just have a lot of emotions going on praying that everybody is OK and safe and hoping that no lives have been lost in it.”
Lee says if the tornado had followed its original path rather than shifting a few yards at the last minute, it would have collided with her home.
Her son, Austin, ran over to the neighbor’s house and helped get the family out of the basement where they had taken shelter.
“I ran over there,” he said, “to make sure they were all right and got them out of the basement and gave them wash cloths and cleaned them up and then they had to go to the hospital and get some stitches.”
Lee says the family suffered some injuries from falling debris, but they’re expected to be okay.
Crews will be out today assessing the damage and beginning work to clean up the area.