Tornado Touches Down In Picayune - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/13/05

Tornado Touches Down In Picayune

The severe weather that roared across the coast Thursday morning hit one South Mississippi city pretty hard. Residents in Picayune say a twister touched down, causing quiet a bit of damage to several businesses and cars.

"It had a big sign in the air that you could see swirling in the tornado itself along with gravel and leaves and branches and everything like that. When we saw that, all we could do is run for cover," Dub Herring Sales Consultant Rick Freeney said.

There were some tense moments at Dub Herring's auto dealership in Picayune Thursday morning when a tornado touched down in the area. Freeney described to WLOX NEWS what happened.

"It came right over here. You see the First National Bank sign, that's where it touched down. Between the Auto Zone sign and the Auto Zone right there."

Freeney said that's when 14 trucks and cars on the lot were damaged.

"A burst of wind just went through the new car lot where the trucks were and just started blowing out windows - front ones and back windows," mechanic Curtis Jackson said.

The auto parts store next door was also hit hard. A front window on the building was shattered, an air conditioning unit was destroyed and the window of an employee's vehicle was damaged.

Some fast food employees next door watched it happen.

"I was in the drive through and I saw the man's truck come off the ground ," Burger King Employee Marquita Freeman said.

Her co-worker Elana Denney, also witnessed the ordeal.

"One of the workers at Auto Zone was standing by the truck, and the windows in the customer's truck collapsed and the lady got her face scratched up. She wasn't hurt bad, but she got scratches on the side of her face."

In Hancock County, workers at a marine construction company off of the Kiln-Waveland cutoff road tell a similar story of destruction.

"It was like vibrating the whole shop, sounded like a train. And half the shop started flying everywhere. The fence over there flew," said Ferrill's Marine Construction employee Tommy Albarado.

He says it was over in a flash, and he's glad no one was hurt.

by Al Showers

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