Tornado strikes McHenry, destroys home
By Jody O'Hara
Oct 4, 2012, 12:30
MCHENRY - As if it wasn’t bad enough suffering through another New Orleans Saints loss.
Brice Bardwell was watching the Saints game Sunday when he heard the wind pick up dramatically.
“I got up and went to the door to look out and, oh man, the wind,” he said. “I yelled at my wife to grab our son and get in the closet and I grabbed our daughter and went in with them.”
The time spent in the closet was frightening.
“It sounded like the house just blew up,” Bardwell said. “It seemed like it didn’t last more than about 15 seconds.”
When the Bardwells; Brice, his wife Megan, their 4-year-old daughter Marlee and 18-month-old son Knox, exited the closet, they confronted a nightmare world.
Fully three-quarters of the roof was gone and a majority of the house was open to the sky.
“Rain and insulation was coming down everywhere,” Brice Bardwell said.
The National Weather Service in Mobile determined an EF-1 tornado had been the culprit in the damage to the Bardwell home, as well as three others along Pine Avenue.
Stone County Emergency Management Director Raven James said the other homes, in comparison, were relatively unscathed.
“They suffered some shingle and roof damage and another had some damage to the supports holding up the carport, but nothing like the house that lost the roof,” he said. “Investigators from Mobile and myself went and did some initial inspections and they determined it was an EF-1 tornado.”
The Enhanced Fujita Scale rates the intensity of a tornado from 0-5 depending on the amount of damage done.
An EF-1 tornado has winds from 86-110 miles-per-hour and the one in McHenry cut a swath of destruction 100 yards wide.
NWS said the tornado was on the ground for approximately five minutes, touching down one-quarter mile north of West McHenry Road and east of Hwy. 49.
It lifted near the intersection of East Wire Road and Hwy. 49 where a wooden privacy fence was blown down and a few trees were topped out.
On Monday, lumber and other debris was scattered over a wide area near the Bardwell home.
No injuries were reported in connection with the storm.
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