EF-1 Tornado damages Decatur County

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DECATURVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Residents in Decatur County are left picking up the pieces after a storm with an EF-1 tornado ripped through the area Monday evening.

Preliminary reports from National Weather Service surveying damage said an EF-1 tornado touched down west of Decaturville and traveled from Campground Road to Thompson Road. NWS said the tornado could be upgraded to an EF-2 after close look at radar signatures and other data.

“We’re still doing our analysis,” said Jim Belles with the NWS Memphis Office. “We may go a little higher. We need to check on that.”

A tornado warning was issued for the area on Monday night. A five-mile stretch west of Decaturville was hit with a tornado packing winds in excess of 100 mph.

The twister destroyed a mobile home, damaged roofs, uprooted trees and caused debris to be thrown around yards.

Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd said it’s hard to believe with all of this damage that everyone escaped without being hurt.

“We had some people in their homes when this thing blew through, and they received considerable damage and nobody was hurt,” Byrd said.

“I’m just glad to be alive,” 72 year old Betty Blackstock said.

Blackstock just returned home from a trip when she heard that a tornado had been on the ground near her house around 530 yesterday, causing her and her sister to hide in refuge inside a bathroom.

“I think a tree hit the back of the house and put a hole in the roof,” said, Blackstock. “I wasn’t that scared I didn’t have time, but after that I was scared.”

Emergency management officials said there were no reported injuries.

by Kaylin Searles and Matt Alvarez
Tuesday, March 28th 2017

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Kyrie Wagner