Henry County Cleaning Up After Wednesday Storm

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

Henry County seems to have been hit the hardest by Wednesday’s storm. There is reported tornado damage in the towns of Halesburg, Newville, and Headland.

They are cleaning up slowly and everyone is giving a sigh of relief, thankful no one was killed and the only things damaged can be replaced.

Wednesday afternoon plant manager Dennis Barry described the sound of the tornado hitting the Red Star yeast company in Henry County as a derailed train. That tornado ripped apart siding, tore off the roof, and spared no trees.

But now the only sounds which can be heard around the plant are those of reconstruction.

"A small community like this, we had luck to call somebody whether it was an electrical contractor and he's sending two trucks out here, the tree service, the crane, it took just one phone call and I'm very impressed," said Barry.

The tornado, which spun through Henry County, had residents ducking for cover and left some in the darkness for hours.

Others say from fallen trees you could see the direction the tornado took. In Newville it took a pivot irrigation system and flipped it like a safety pin.

Miles down the road at a house on County Road 12, the same tornado ripped through a man's carport. Donn Williams said he didn't want to be interviewed, but says he lucky he nor his wife and dogs were hurt.

Meanwhile, headland Police Chief Mark Jones also says it was a close call. Half of the city was out of power while trees helplessly fell onto cars and into light poles. The roof on the local lumber company 'E&W' ripped apart.

"We had great response from surrounding areas; people were coming to volunteer to help us," said Chief Mark Jones of Headland Police Department.

Henry County EMA Director Paul Brown says Headland and Newville were the hardest cities hit by Wednesday's tornado.

As far as production at the yeast plant, that's been postponed a few days, but employees have been put in other positions. Officials with the plant aren't for sure when the plant will look normal again.

Adjusters have a backlog of houses to process, so they say if you're waiting on them, be a little patient.


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