Warren residents convinced tornado tore through neighborhood
By: Alexandra Cowley
Families in Warren compared the worst of Tuesday's storms to the opening scene from The Wizard of Oz, saying they ran for cover because they thought it was a tornado.
“All I saw was the wind and the whoooosshhh,” explained one resident.
“All of a sudden it got white, and you couldn't even see the front yard, and we could see the funnel going down the front yard, taking down the trees in its path,” said Michael Gifford.
“I've seen a couple hurricanes in the past and I've never seen the wind and rain as heavy as I just saw,” explained Bob Geremia.
People living on Brittney Lane in Warren say they felt like they were in a movie when howling winds and whipping rains rushed through their street.
9-year-old Emma Gifford watched with her dad from the window.
“I was like oh my god, is everybody OK, what's going to happen, there's probably going to be so much damage,”said Gifford.
Lilliam McDonough rushed her kids to the first floor when the worst of the storm hit.
“OK let's run, and then the water is coming through all the windows, you could see leaves, and everything on the front of the house, and I'm like what the heck it scared the hell out of me,” McDonough explained.
Neighbors say it happened within seconds.
Gifford said, “My dad literally took out his phone and when he went to hit the picture button it was gone like that.”
When it was gone, it left behind downed trees and power lines. One tree crashed into Emma Gifford's pool, another crushed Bob Geremia's truck.
“The hail was like ball bearings hitting the side of the house,” he explained.
The sight that had all the neighbors dropping their jaws, is this line of weeping willows ripped clean from the ground. The trees used to provide privacy for homeowner Paul Andrade.
“Very powerful, never seen anything like it, it was like a movie, Wizard of Oz,” Andrade explained.
Neighbors spent much of the evening sharing stories of what they saw and checking out all the damage, grateful nobody was hurt.
“It's sad you know, it's sad that this happened, but at least everybody's safe. You know you can replace stuff, but life you cannot,” said McDonough.