Franklin Co. residents clean up damage left behind by tornado - WNCN: News, Weather

Franklin Co. residents clean up damage left behind by tornado

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A tree ripped out of the ground by an EF0 tornado in Franklin County. (Michael Barnard, WNCN) A tree ripped out of the ground by an EF0 tornado in Franklin County. (Michael Barnard, WNCN)
LOUISBURG, N.C. -

Residents in Franklin County are working to clean up the aftermath of an EF0 tornado that touched down southwest of Louisburg Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF0 tornado with 85 mph winds touched down southwest of Louisburg and was on the ground for 1.2 miles.

Buildings were torn up, trees and other items were twisted and destroyed, but injuries were non-existent, Franklin County Sherriff Jerry Jones said.

"Everything went crazy," recalled David Pierwola, who has a close call with the tornado. "Trees down, things just flying, [something] hit me on the back on my head when I was on my front porch."

"I always wanted to see a tornado up close, but I think this was a little too close," Pierwola said. "It happened just like that, in the blink of an eye. I don't think more than 20 to 30 seconds."

Nancy Galardi was on her front porch when the winds started toppling trees.

"It was this really loud sound, and the next thing I know: here comes this huge wind that cracks this tree and it hits the porch," Galardi said.

Galardi's home held, protecting her, but her property took a big hit.

"It broke this tree in half and all of the other trees were lying down," she said. "It took all the furniture off the deck and threw it on the other side of the deck.

"I told my husband, ‘Honey, trees are down all over the place.'

"And he goes, ‘Honey, there's a tornado in the backyard."

As the tornado whipped through neighborhoods, folks couldn't believe what they were seeing.

"I looked out that window and saw a tree going," Lee Simon said. "I called my wife to come look and she was at the back door and called me and said, ‘Come look at this.' I saw my little shed had lifted up and disappeared but it left my little pigs."

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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