MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Wednesday morning light revealed everyone's worst fears through parts of Mobile's midtown area.
Homes on Dauphin St. and Carlen St., just a few blocks from Murphy High School, had widespread damage.
Chainsaws roared as work crews busily cleared trees from Dauphin Street between Rickarby Place and Carlen, one of the hardest hit areas with considerable damage to homes and businesses.
Trinity Episcopal Church looked as though an explosion could have gone off inside. The front lawn was littered with bricks and other debris.
Steve Stone lives nearby and was taking an early morning bike ride to check on things.
"It's devastating to see it so close to home," Stone said. "The one last week was a mile and a half away and this one, literally, we saw it from our back deck. We sat down for Christmas dinner and the lights went out and tornado, freight train… that whole thing. It's real."
It's a story that echoed through the streets.
It sounded like a freight train and there were only seconds to react.
Nearby, one home was almost completely destroyed. What's left of it is at the intersection of Dauphin and Carlen.
Even with all of the damage, authorities say there have been no reports of any serious injuries.
A lot of family and friends were out helping to clean up Wednesday. The woman who lived there was home alone as the storm struck. She rode out the tornado in her bathroom.
"She was actually getting a flashlight out of the hallway and she was in the hallway, going to the closet," said family friend, Tim Clarke. "The front door started going back and forth. Next thing she knew, the front door flew open and she went into the bathroom to get shelter."
Friends and neighbors helped salvage what they could. The scene was repeated throughout the area: hard work beginning to put lives back together.
For some like David Lauber, it's a scene like they've lived through before.
"We went through Hurricane Fredrick in '79 and that's what I told her," Lauler said speaking of his wife. "This was like Hurricane Fredrick in a square block, but Fredrick was like this everywhere in Mobile. I mean, it was bad, but this is unbelievable."
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