Savannah Yacht Club suffers damage from tornado

Updated: May. 5, 2019 at 11:23 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -The Savannah Sport Fishing Club Blue Water Tournament was having their final weigh in just feet from where a boat hoist crashed in to the dock house when a tornado struck Wilmington Island on Saturday.

They said there would have been hundreds of people there if the storm had hit half-an-hour earlier.

“I mean it was right on top of us and within maybe 15 or 20 seconds it was blowing all the furniture off the porch and we were all taking cover and you couldn’t get in the building," said Madison Elliott, who was at the club. "All the doors were locked, so we were running around the side of the building and it flipped the boat over onto the dock. It was just mayhem.”

It was a scary scene for those at the Savannah Yacht Club this afternoon as storms ripped through the island.

“Everyone in a small house was ducked on the ground and it came right over us... you really couldn’t hear anything- all the cranes and boats that flipped, you couldn’t hear it at all,” said Henry Schubert.

Even for those not at the club, but still in the area, a tornado is a frightening sight. Many feel lucky to be here tonight.

“We were absolutely lucky," said Billy Campbell. "We were stuck on the sandbar. We were sitting ducks.”

Beth McIntosh was driving East on Highway 80 heading toward Johnny Mercer Boulevard when it hit.

“An alert came on the radio that there was a warning and to take cover and so I happened to look to my right and I could see this pretty large funnel cloud heading my way,” said McIntosh.

She was able to pull over and seek safety during the storm. All the witnesses said they learned a valuable lesson from the tornado.

Officials said earlier they weren't sure how they were getting the boat off the dock, but that it would require a crane.

Only minor injuries were reported over here and were caused by flying debris.

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