(Monroe Co., AR) Two EF-1 tornadoes touched down Friday in the Mid-south, heavily damaging homes.
Both were part of the same system that produced another tornado a few hours later north of Covington, Tenn.
It was a morning one teenager won’t forget.
“It was raining pretty hard, but then all of a sudden it stopped. And then you could hear high winds and then the roof came off,” 14-year-old Derek Young, who was sitting in the living room of his grandmother’s house Friday morning when a tornado hit east of Brinkley, Ark., said.
“It was like a big upside down cotton candy you could say,” he added.
Then Derek realized there was more than one tornado.
“And you could actually see it picking up these trees and throwing them down,” he said. “And then, like three minutes later, the second came through and hit the back of the house.”
Derek’s brother and grandmother were also in the house, but miraculously none of them were hurt.
Moments before hitting Derek Young’s house, one of the tornadoes toppled huge trees and tore the roof off a home on Highway 302, also near Brinkley.
No one inside the house was hurt either.
“We did not see them and did not have any advance warning, really, to amount to anything,” P.K. Norman, the EMA coordinator for Monroe County, Arkansas said.
He went on to say the EF-1 twisters moved through suddenly Friday morning, taking everyone by surprise.
“We had weather, bad weather, around all night but it had almost cleared the area. By the time this storm came, everything else was pretty well cleared out,” Norman said.
The same weather system also produced an EF-1 tornado in Tipton County Friday. It destroyed a house on Mt. Lebanon Road and left scattered damage near Covington, Tenn.
Again, no one was injured.
The whole frightening experience taught Derek Young the need of having a severe weather safety plan and sticking to it.
“I think we’re going to be more prepared such as getting things already ready and a place to be when it does happen,” he said.