Abbeville Storm Damage

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

Although brief, a tornado ripped through Abbeville, mostly in the Bethlehem area.

From gas leaks to power outages, even an 18-wheeler overturned, Abbeville had quite a surprise when a confirmed tornado spun its way through the city earlier Thursday afternoon.

EMA Director Paul Brown confirmed the tornado, which happened over a 10 minute period, but left a lasting impression.

Trailers ripped apart, roofs on houses shredded like paper, power lines hanging helplessly, as residents in the area stood outside and wondered how something that happened so quickly could be so detrimental.

Years of history blew up with the strong winds, as 200 year old oak trees were crushed like a giant's foot had made a resting place.

One Mississippi truck driver whose 18-wheeler was turned on its side says he lucky to be alive, and is happy he didn’t bring his son, who usually comes along on his trips.

“[I] grabbed the steering wheel to brace myself and just waited for it to stop and the wind caught it at first and even after it fell over,” Louis Tidwell explains. “It pushed it and all the debris started hitting and I didn't know if the tornado was gone, hit, or whether it was done over with.”

There has been a Henry County-wide curfew put into place.

However, it pertains only to the outskirts of Henry County and not the city limits of Abbeville, or the city of Headland.

The curfew begins promptly at 7PM Thursday night. Only emergency personnel are allowed on the streets.

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