Confirmed EF-1 tornado touches down in Carroll County; neighbors react

CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn. — Residents in Carroll County along Highway 70 woke up to damages Thursday morning after a powerful storm ripped through the Cedar Grove community Wednesday evening.

Residents believed it was a tornado, which the National Weather Service Memphis confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service was on site Thursday morning and later gave the tornado a preliminary rating of EF-1, estimating the winds to be between 100 and 105 miles per hour.

“It hit real quick,” resident Billy Baumgardner said. “We just heard some thunder and all of a sudden a hard wind.”

“All the things that are in my attic are in the field back there,” homeowner Richard Brooks said.

Trees were toppled, roofs were blown off and residents were left sifting through debris.

“I was laying in bed watching TV and I heard this big noise,” resident Vincent Lenox said.

“We were watching the ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ and after that the lights went out and we were laying in bed and all of a sudden we heard a loud boom,” Brooks said.

What the 81-year-old saw next stunned him.

“I went into the other part and said, ‘we don’t have a roof,’ and she said ‘you’re joking,’ and I said ‘yeah, that’s it. We don’t have a roof,” Brooks said.

Brooks walked us through his damaged home.

“The house is full of antiques, and most of them are gone,” Brooks said.

Brooks also says what took him 45 years to perfect only took minutes to destroy.

“One day we might get it back together,” Brooks said.

Less than a mile away the winds destroyed several manufactured homes.

“The family that lived in the back, their little boy is on oxygen, so we had to get things cleared out so they can go stay with family members,” Baumgardner said.

Baumgardner says through the storm the community is counting their blessings.

“The direction of the debris, I would assume it was a tornado, and I think we were very blessed by the Lord nobody was injured,” Baumgardner said.

“That stuff can be replaced, but life can’t be replaced,” Lenox said.

“We’re lucky. We are a whole lot better off than a lot of people. She’s alive and I’m alive,” Brooks said.

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