After deadly March 3rd tornadoes, severe weather now comes with more anxiety

Local News

The March 3rd tornadoes that left 23 people dead in Beauregard and caused wide-spread damage across the Chattahoochee Valley has changed how some people look at severe weather. 

When people hear bad weather is in the forecast, they are more anxious. 

Eddie Stoddard, a former drill sergeant from Beauregard is one of those. 

“OK, we got some rain and wind and we are getting through it. Move on,'” Stoddard said. “This right here now, you hear rain and wind and it’s a whole different ballgame – a whole different ballgame.” 

The March 3 tornado did change everything.

“In the blink of an eye – in the blink of an eye, we were sitting there watching Channel 3,” Stoddard said. “The satellite went out. Saw the trees. We got in our closet and started praying. Praying. The louder it got, the louder we prayed for about three minutes.” 

When Stoddard and his wife came out of their Beauregard home, roofs and fences all around them were damaged or gone. 

The storm didn’t even knock over plastic chairs in their yard. 

Last Sunday, bad weather moved through the Chattahoochee Valley. Stoddard, a retired Army drill sergeant, and his wife were on high alert. And it was because of March 3rd. 

“OK, we got some rain and wind and we are getting through it. Move on. This right here now, you hear rain and wind and it’s a whole different ballgame – a whole different ballgame. Now, it ain’t like, ‘we got some rain coming, we got some wind coming. It’s oh, my God, is it going to hit again.’” 

News 3 Meteorologist Nicole Phillips was in her first week in Columbus Sunday. Raised in Kansas and has worked in Kansas City, she saw the apprehension first hand in her social media interactions with viewers. 

“People were very anxious,” she said. “They were very concerned. And you could almost feel that just typing on the computer. They were very concerned and very worried, and I think a lot of it had to do with what happened on March 3rd.” 

When Stoddard and his wife woke up Sunday, they turned on the weather. 

“We turned on Channel 3 the minute our feet hit the floor,” he said. “And never left Channel 3. We stood there and watched the rains. Finally, we saw the blue sky and said, ‘Thank God, blue sky.’” 

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