Tornado or not, storm survivor wanted warning

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

CLAXTON, GA (WTOC) - Dawn Wilson had only a moment's notice before the bottom fell out along Sunbury Road Saturday afternoon.

"It was hailing, it was windy, it was raining. It was awful," she recalled. "The house started shaking. I looked out the bathroom window and saw the funnel go past the window."

She walked outside the home her family rents to find a 70 year old barn next door blown to bits. The storm also snapped a huge limb from a pecan tree and dropped a silo on its side.

Dawn can't understand why the National Weather Service won't call this a tornado.

"I'm not crazy. I grew up in the Midwest, like I said, and I know what a tornado is. I've seen them. I've chased them. I've lived through them," she assured.

Her landlord, Lex Strickland, agrees. He found several trees blown down on his farmland nearby.

"A friend of mine at breakfast told me he was going to Claxton and saw a funnel cloud in this direction," he noted.

Tornado or not, Dawn said she's more upset that her weather radio didn't give her any warning of anything.

"Thank God my husband had left a few minutes earlier and called me to say he saw some bad weather coming this way," she said.

Others shared her concern.

"It bothers me that we didn't get any weather warnings or watches on this weather event," stated John Womble, Evans County's Emergency Management Agency director. "According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, they didn't issue any warnings or watches for severe weather storms Saturday."

Womble added the National Weather Service is still collecting data and may come to Claxton to see what happened. Whatever it was, all are thankful this storm passed without anyone getting hurt.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.