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Cleanup Continues In Lincoln Co. After EF-3 Tornado

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Cleanup Continues In Lincoln Co. After EF-3 Tornado

CREATED May 1, 2014

LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. – Clean-up continued in Lincoln County Wednesday, only two days after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the area, killing a husband and wife and wounding at least six people.

Officials with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said a total of 50 homes were damaged Monday night, in the storm that cut a damage path about two-miles-wide from the Tennessee-Alabama state line to the northeastern part of Lincoln County.

John Prince, 60, and his 44-year-old wife, Karen, were killed when the tornado hit their home. Six others were injured during the storm.

At the Parks City Baptist Church in Fayetteville, an organized effort to help the victims of the tornado was in full force. Victims who came by were allowed to get clothing, food and any other necessities that we can sometimes take for granted.

Volunteers went house to house, checking homes and making sure they were clear, while others continued to sift through their belongings.

"It's a scary thing, it really is," said Debbie Parker, who lost her home in the tornado. "I saw trees come up you'd never think would, you know?"

PHOTOS: Lincoln County Tornado Damage - 4/28/2014

Incredible stories of survival have also surfaced in the aftermath of the storm’s devastation. Becca Tanner rode out the twister in the bathroom of a mobile home.

Tanner said the storm picked the home up off its foundation, and dropped it onto the road next to her. She stood by what was left of the home Tuesday afternoon, with debris scattered all over the road.

"I don't know if we landed here or landed over there," Becca said, pointing across the road. "I have no idea, I just ran to the neighbor’s house and they were sitting outside waiting for us."

Amazingly, she only ended up with a few scratches as a result.

South Lincoln Elementary School at 362 Smith Mill Road in Fayetteville took a direct hit from the tornado, which was believed to have winds in excess of 190 miles per hour.

Sheriff Murray Blackwelder with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said the school appeared to be beyond repair. It was not immediately known whether or not students would be able to complete the school-term at another location.

A curfew has been placed in effect in southern Lincoln County Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. People who don't live in the area are required to stay out of the vicinity until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Several shelters have opened up in the area for those needing a place to stay. They include:

  • Flintville School
  • Mimosa Community Ctr.
  • Belleville Community Ctr
  • Flintville First Baptist Church
  • Park City Church of Christ
  • Petersburg Town Hall
  • Dell Rose Fire Station
  • The Courthouse
  • State Line Church of Christ
  • Lincoln High School
  • Boonsville Community Ctr.
  • Fayetteville Municipal Ctr.

Another reported hard hit area was Price Lane just west of the Crystal Springs Community, where there were reports that every home was leveled by the storms. 

The large and dangerous tornado was first spotted to the west of Flintville in Lincoln County. Radar showed a large debris field and winds up to 128 miles per hour.

NewsChannel 5’s Todd Walker was less than five miles away from the tornado at the time. He reported lightning so intense it resembled daylight and several debris covered roads.

The storm moved into Moore County near Lynchburg and pushed off to the northeast causing the NWS to issued a tornado warning for Coffee County as well.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)