HATTIESBURG, Miss – A scary start to the day for people in Covington County. A tornado ripped through early Monday morning. Instead of going to work, some people spent their day picking up pieces of their destroyed homes.
A tornado as wide as a football field carved a path through Seminary. It touched down on Twin Oaks Lane. John B. Craft describes the storm, “All I could hear was tin blowing, waddling up.”
Craft says his son and daughter-in-law made it to his house, just in time, “He walked out on the front porch and said I see it from across the field and then we turned and dove into the laundry room, it was over just that fast.”
The tornado only damaged his car port but two of his four cars were destroyed, “Two of them were brand new.”
The twister continued its path, hitting the southbound side of Highway 49.
“It started hitting the wall, it sounded like hail hitting the wall,I don’t know what it was,” said Wayne Dickens whose home is located directly next to the interstate.
As the tornado closed in on Dickens’ home, he quickly headed to protect his wife but he said the powerful winds were holding him back, “I was trying to get to her to get in that hallway, might not have been the safest place but it’s the only thing I could think about.”
The tales of survival during the storm don’t stop there. No one was hurt but several businesses were destroyed – including Sandra Lott and her husband’s firework stand,beauty salon and U-haul rental business, “It’s just pretty much gone,” said Lott.
Their businesses are next door to Dickens’ home, “We have U-hauls scattered over in the south and northbound lanes and some across behind us.”
Dickens said he’s never endured anything quite like this storm, “It was the hardest wind I ever heard in my life.”