Sightseers come out to look at tornado damage

Sightseers come out to look at tornado damage
Residents describe it as an unbelievable yet quick storm. (Photo Source: WLOX)
Damage from the storm that hit St. Martin on Saturday night. (Photo Source: WLOX)
Damage from the storm that hit St. Martin on Saturday night. (Photo Source: WLOX)

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - A possible tornado touched down at a strip mall in St. Martin on Saturday night, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

It was no surprise that people wanted to survey the damage.  At Lemoyne Plaza, walls are toppled, and cars are tossed like tinker toys.

Out came the cell phones and comments about the power of Mother Nature from Jimmy Davis. "Oh, she's tough," he said. "She flipped the cars over, knocked all the awnings down and the side of this roof is all tore off. It was quick too."

Many people like Stanley Allen could only describe it as unbelievable. He said, "For the tornados to be packed in such a small area, It's unreal. Nothing can stop Mother Nature."

Others were left shaking their heads, like Mark Hicks. "The tin wrapped around the building there, this truck on top on that car. The boat is flipped over across the street. I just can't believe it. It's crazy," Hicks exclaimed.

It happened in the blink of an eye. Mike Adams explained, "It can happen at any second. Any second you're around. One minute you're here and the next minute everything is gone. I've been through storms all my life. I've seen this and it's terrible."

While most of the local businesses were closed down for the evening, a few were open. Some of the store owners were even  inside when the storm hit, a frightening experience.

Alfred Rivera was cleaning up the glass in his Martial Arts business when it touched down. "I tried to close the door and the wind pushed me back and at that moment I realized this was not the normal type of wind so we took off running to the back and that's when everything exploded on the windows," Rivera recalled.

When the initial shock wore off, most like Larry Scott were left with one uplifting thought. "Amazing what wind can do. But I'm just glad there were no injuries and these people will be able to get back up and operating soon," he said.

Most of the business owners we talked to say they hope to be back up and running within the next couple of days.

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