Madison County residents describe the moment the tornado hit

Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT

MADISON, MS (WLBT) - The National Weather Service confirmed on Saturday that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Madison County Friday night.

According to the NWS, the tornado traveled from Old Canton Road to Rice Road, then through the Sandalwood Seighborhood.

"The dogs started barking like crazy."

"We were kinda like what's going on."

"The skies got darker. Our back door blew open."

"My husband and daughter and my son had to hold the back door."

"The rain was swirling around so it was, it was a tornado."

That's the way the Ainsworth's described the moments they first realized that what they were experiencing wasn't just a bad storm.

The Ainsworth's live on Sugar Maple Lane, one of the streets that got the brunt of the tornado.

"We kept seeing flashes of something falling but we didn't know what it was," said Laura Ainsworth, describing what she saw when she and her daughter looked out of the window.

After the tornado passed they went outside. That's when they realized what the flashes had been.

"I was like honey, you need to come outside and see this," she added. "This is where the two oak trees fell right there and then right there we had the tree in the deck fall and then one fell right here and knocked that fence down."

"Our fence was knocked down about 3 or 4 times," said Jerry Ainsworth, as he pointed to the huge oak tree laying across his driveway and onto his neighbors front yard.

Two of the trees also landed on their van.

Ava is the youngest member of the Ainsworth family. When she and her mother first saw the van, she said it was bad.

"It had like two tree stumps like over it and like it was tilting," said Ava.

In the middle of all of the chaos, they heard a knock on the door. It was the police coming to see if they were OK. But, when they saw the van, it most definitely wasn't.

"And the guy said, I'm no expert, but I can tell that your van has been totaled," she said as she laughed.

Honey Egger lives across the street. She was at her other home making dinner when she heard about the tornado. When she got to the entrance of the neighborhood, she said there were police directing traffic and monitoring who was going in and out.

"I told them where I lived and they let me right in." she said. As she turned on Sugar Maple Lane, she saw debris covering the entire street.

"When I drove in my driveway, I have a tree from his yard across my driveway," said Egger.

She said Saturday morning that a group of volunteers showed up at her house and offered to help with the clean up.

"They cut up everything and took it to the street," she said. "Isn't that great?"

The extent of the damage inflicted on the neighborhood can clearly be seen, and residents know that the clean up will take a while, however they say the fact that they are here today is all that matters.

"The two people at the end of the street had two trees go in their house," said Jerry. "And a street over...well it speaks for itself."

The Ainsworth's say they are thankful because it could have been worse.

"I'm just so thankful because at least our house was spared, you know we're still here," said Laura. "That's the main thing. You know like they say you can replace a van but you can't replace a life."

And as for Honey Egger, well she says life goes on.

"It's like this has happened and we'll just make the best of it," she said.

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