Eleven people escaped serious injury late Thursday night when a suspected tornado slammed into a home near Dibrell, ripping off the roof and leaving those inside scrambling for cover.
“By the time I looked up, the whole roof flies off,” said Wayne Reagan of the wind that blew the roof of his home near the Warren-DeKalb County line late Thursday night, a wind he says was the result of a tornado touching down. “When I looked up, I could see it. I saw the cloud. I know what it was. I saw it.”
Reagan said he was asleep when the storm hit, giving them no warning as they were jarred awake by the sound of splitting wood.
“I smacked my wife on the arm and told her to get up, this is for real, get the kids downstairs,” Reagan said, noting some of the 11 people inside their home were able to make it to a basement as he ran to help his 83-year-old “Nana” who was in the room where the roof had been blown off. “I heard cracking in the wood like someone was splitting wood.”
Reagan said he pushed her under the bed far enough to protect her head. “I thought, I need to protect her,” he noted as he threw his body on top of hers as the wind continued ripping their house apart.
Reagan said the storm passed as quickly as it arrived. After doing a head count to ensure everyone was OK, they emerged to a scene of overwhelming damage. Along with the roof being blown off the house, Reagan said their garage had been blown off its foundation.
“I’m just glad everyone is OK,” he acknowledged as he surveyed the damage by the light of day Friday.
Reagan said the house is insured and they do have a place to stay while repairs are being made.
The damage to the Reagan home was the worst left behind in Warren County due to the strong line of storms that hit the Nursery Capital late Thursday night and early Friday morning. There were reports of downed tree and there were powerlines and trees down on nearby Capshaw Road as a result of the same squall.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of southern Warren County in the Viola and Irving College areas just before the storm slammed in the Reagan home in the northern part of the county. All of Warren County was under a severe thunderstorm watch at the time. For video coverage, see the multi-media section of this website.