Homeowners assess tornado damage

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Rachel Toche has never seen a tornado, but after the storm pushed right into her bedroom, she knows more about them than most. The way she tells it, her experience was terrifying.

"I couldn't stop shaking, until today," Toche said.

She said she was peacefully watching television around 3 p.m. Thursday, when all of sudden, a destructive force interrupted.

"The glass was sucked out of the window. The blinds started to fly; the brick came in through my window. A lot of the gravel stuff came through my window, too.  And the door slammed shut," Toche said. "I couldn't move."

Her father Danny was also home at the time. He says he saw what he believed to be a tornado moving straight toward his house.

"The part I could see was pretty big," said Danny Toche. "I mean it filled up the whole, my whole view. You could tell it was a tornado because of the way the debris that was flying through the air."

Danny said once he spotted the cyclone, he didn't have any time to prepare.

"I ran inside and hollered out to Rachel, 'Get in the bathroom,' because there was a tornado, but she couldn't hear me because she was screaming at the same time," he said.

He told WLOX the whole ordeal lasted no longer than fifteen seconds, but it's apparent the damage will stick around for a while. The back wall of the Toche's home is destroyed. The area beside it is littered with brick and glass.

Rachel pointed down to a pile of bricks and mortar on the ground and said, "This is our wall,  right here. It used to be right here [on the house], and then what happened was it came in and it took the wall down and threw some bricks in my window."

The grand total for the Toche's house is an estimated $4,500 worth of damage. Damage was spread across the neighbhorhood, as well. Just next door, part of the roof went flying. A few blocks away, the storm downed a tree, and a fence close by was also flattened.

"It was scary," said Danny Toche.  "We're lucky. You know it could have been worse."

"Right before it came through our house it lifted," added Rachel.  "So we were really lucky."

On Friday, The National Weather Service confirmed the storm was an ef-0 tornado.

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