EAST BREWTON, Ala. (WKRG) — East Brewton saw significant damage from Claudette, many residents braving the tornado that ripped through their small community.
What seemed like every inch of the neighborhood off of Highway 29 in East Brewton had damage.
Reports show 20 people injured post-storm — two of those people are in serious condition, but luckily there were no fatalities after the destruction.
Residents like Sherri Gilmore recalled the moments Claudette rolled in. “It sounded like a train coming and it was just a loud ‘woo,’ and then when I looked out, you could see it just like starting popping up. It would hit the ground, then it would go up, and then would hit the ground and go up.”
Those residents in disbelief this kind of destruction could happen here, so quickly. Jackson Rabren’s home saw significant roof damage.
“It was really scary. It really was, because I thought mostly about our pets, and it was just so strange it lasted such a short time, and it was over and then you’re just thankful it’s gone,” Rabren said.
A trailer park off of Andrew Jackson Street was nearly wiped out completely.
One of those trailers came off of its cinderblocks and hit another trailer. The residents of that one — Joesph Rogers and his father, still inside, making it out alive and saying they feel lucky they did.
The two have lived in this trailer for more than 20 years and were inside when the storm rolled in. Rogers recalling those moments: “Around 7 maybe the trailer started moving, and I sat straight up in the bed and my dad came and ran in and met me and then the whole trailer started moving and shaking. And the only thing we knew to do was just run and grab each other and fall to the ground.”
Emotions were running high, and this family did the only thing they could think of.
“I didn’t know if we were going to make it, that’s why I just grabbed him and didn’t know if that was the last time I could hold him,” Rogers said.
The National Weather Service surveyed the damage earlier today. The report shows Claudette brought an EF-2 tornado with a peak speed hitting 127 miles per hour and stretching 20 miles. NWS will conduct additional surveys for other possible tornadoes in the coming days.