Tornado destroys properties in Winston County

DOUBLE SPRINGS, Ala. (WIAT) — Many residents along Highway 195 between Double Springs and Ashridge were home when a tornado tore through their properties.

“The whole house was shaking like an earthquake,” said homeowner Dean Sparks. “[We were] just bracing for it and trying to hope it doesn’t take us out.”

His garage caved in on two vehicles, his roof was torn off in places and what’s left of the inside of his home is significantly water damaged. He’s still trying to determine if any part of the structure can be salvaged.

“They’re in total shock. This is the second time they’ve been hit,” said Bobby Willis, Sparks’ nephew.

Willis said a tornado tore through this same property several years ago but it wasn’t this bad. This time the Sparks also lost three sheds, and several classic cars Dean had been restoring

“[We’re] just trying to get some of the stuff up that I can salvage before it rains again, before it ruins–get it in the trailer,” said Sparks.

Willis is a truck driver with TidCo Transportation. He was supposed to be on his way to Colorado this morning.

“My boss has donated the trailer for us to store stuff in,” said Willis. “I just can’t thank everybody enough for the stuff that they’re doing.”

He said it’s a tight knit community. Friends and neighbors have brought food and water and they’re all pitching in to help their neighbors in need. Sparks’ wasn’t the only property damaged in the area.

“I heard my front porch leave,” said homeowner Jimmy Ward.

He and his brother who lives across the highway were also home when the tornado came through.

“I was lucky not to have been further this direction,” said Ward, gesturing to the path of the storm.

Willis says they’ve all been through this before and the fact that they’re all there together is a blessing in itself.

“We’ll get through this and the community will heal back, just like we did after the April 27th storms,” said Willis.

“Get it cleaned up. Start over again,” reflected Sparks.

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