A number of residents of northern Wayne County experienced in very direct ways the passage of a powerful long-track tornado early Monday morning.
“When we got the weather alert, we went into a closet in our mobile home, and then the tornado went through. It took our house off the blocks,” Caroline Reid reported. “Yes, it was scary. My heart is still pounding!”
Reid was in a Peach Road residence just off Lanes Bridge Road with her husband and baby when the tornado went through.
“The house is a total loss; the porch and the shed are gone; but everyone is safe,” she said.
The Wayne County tornado was spawned by a huge line of thunderstorms stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Maine and moving across the nation from Texas to the Atlantic Coast over the Easter weekend. The storm was responsible for at least 18 deaths in some 40 tornados, according to Monday-morning reports.
Only minor injuries have been reported from the storm, according to Wayne County Sheriff John Carter.
Beth McCall and her family just north of Odum also were directly in the path of the twister.
“We just heard it; we didn’t see anything,” McCall said. “It was dark, and we were in the bathroom closet!”
McCall said the tornado came down their street, Beards Bluff Road, a mile north of Odum Elementary School.
“It was really loud and consistent. And scary!” she said. “But it only lasted about 10 minutes. Our neighborhood is destroyed, but our house wasn’t damaged.”
She said a home nearby had lost its roof.
According to National Weather Service reports, the tornado passed near Surrency in southern Appling County and then north of Odum and through Doctortown on its track through Wayne County.
Most of the area of northern Odum was littered with debris from the storm, and several other homes were reported damaged or destroyed.
Reports are that Rhonda Trull was in her home when it was overturned by the tornado. Trull was unavailable for comment Monday morning, but reports are that she was being treated at the Wayne Memorial Hospital emergency room.