Tornado tears through Appleton

Published 9:01 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
A collection of angels stood on the mantel in the home of Ruth Rhodes Friday morning undisturbed by high winds that whipped around the home just after 5 a.m.
Rhodes, who lives on Paradise Lane off Travis Road south of Brewton, sat in her home that had been stripped of front and back porches by what officials are calling a tornado. A large outbuilding was also destroyed on the property with the roof being torn away and several trees falling on the structure.
So fast, in fact, that Rhodes said she didn’t have time to be upset about the situation that surrounded her home.
Betty Thompson, a neighbor of Rhodes, said her property did not suffer any damage as a result of the severe weather, but she heard the Rhodes home being damaged.
The Friday morning storm was almost an exact copy of damages in the Appleton area Thursday morning.
A strange formation in the sky Thursday morning made Ron Crutchfield run for his life.
Crutchfield, an Appleton resident, said he knew he had to act quickly.
Crutchfield said his grandchildren had just boarded the school bus minutes before the tornado passed through his neighborhood.
EMA Director David Adams said he is still waiting on confirmation that what tore through Appleton and other areas over the two-day period were tornadoes, but he believes that’s exactly what they were.
Not only did the severe weather damage Rhodes’ home Friday morning, other damages were seen in the Roberts and Dixie communities further east.
Adams commended the efforts of all of those involved in responding to the incident and clearing away trees and other debris.
Members of the Escambia County Sheriffs Department, Appleton Volunteer Fire Department, West Escambia Chapter of the American Red Cross and other volunteers responded to the incident in Appleton Thursday.

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