02/23/14 — Friday storm spins off 1 tornado

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Friday storm spins off 1 tornado

By John Joyce & Matt Caulder
Published in News on February 23, 2014 1:50 AM

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Steve Johnson evaluates the damage to his farm on Jordans Chapel Road after an F-1 tornado touched down Friday afternoon near Grantham.

Michael Bryan wasn't sure whether it was a tornado that destroyed a vacant mobile home on his property Friday on Jordans Chapel Road, but on Saturday, the National Weather Service confirmed that one touched down within five miles of Grantham in the extreme southwest corner of Wayne County.

"I don't know what to do with this," Bryan said, looking at the structure that had been completely destroyed, with insulation and metal roofing strewn all over his fields. "I guess walk around and just pick up."

The mobile home was pulled from its foundation at the top of a hill and its contents dumped about 100 feet away.

Pieces of insulation caught on the farm's fencing, while sheets of roofing were blown across the road into neighboring yards.

Bryan's farm also sustained damaged to multiple barns and barn roofs.

Neighboring properties also suffered damage from falling trees and the wind.

The National Weather Service said the tornado struck at 1:23 p.m. and lasted seven minutes, carving a path 175 yards wide for just less than a mile, according to the NWS report.

Wind speeds reached an estimated 110 miles per hour, ranking the event as an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale used to measure tornado strengths.

The scale ranks tornadoes based on wind speeds from EF0 -- speeds of 65 to 85 miles per hour, all the way up to EF5 -- with speeds greater than 200 miles per hour.

The Weather Service report noted that a single-wide mobile home, along with two outbuildings were destroyed by the tornado. Reports of roof damage and downed trees also were mentioned.

There were no reports of injury or death.

But the southwestern corner of the county wasn't the only place to receive storm damage.

While a tornado wasn't to blame, Ed Porter's home and property also suffered wind damage Friday.

"I heard it start up and went back into the bedroom in the middle of the house," he said. "The house was shaking. The bathroom door was rattling like someone was on the other side trying to get in."

Porter's house lost a few shingles and had its under-pinning blown out but the Cedar trees in his yard took the real beating.

"My grandfather planted those trees about 60 or 70 years ago when he built this house," Ed's wife Hope Porter said. "The cedar smells great but this isn't the way you want to smell it."

An aluminum building behind the Porter's house was yanked up and pulled away from the foundation during the burst of wind.

"Only thing that kept that building down were the anchors," Porter said. "I think it was just really strong straight-line wind coming through."

Three doors down Paul Fields was assessing damage of his own on the house he is renting.

"It snapped that pine in three pieces," he said. "I thought it missed the Camaro but I saw it didn't when I got around there. It got the Impala a lot worse."

Fields' power box was ripped from his house and Pine tree limbs stuck through his roof into the attic.

"Water was coming down into the house but the holes are into the attic," he said.