MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Multiple surveillance cameras throughout the City of Mobile captured tornadic activity early Thursday morning.Downed power lines, ripped roofs and other debris littered the intersection of Union and Springhill avenues after severe thunderstorms and a preliminary EF-1 tornado touched down in Mobile on Dec. 20.
Demetrius Anderson said the amount of destruction has left him in disbelief.
As he stands inside the remnants of what used to be his home, he said he doesn't know where to begin.
Anderson said, "We was asleep. And then we just heard a whole bunch of commotion. And when I looked up, open my eyes, the roof just took the top of the house."
His house is now a shell of what it once was.
An entire side of the house here was ripped off by this storm. The roof is missing, and all of his belongings are soaked and exposed to the elements.
Thankfully, the family was able to escape to safety."
Anderson's children were sleeping in the front room.
"I don't know what to think right now. My mind is so gone right now," said Anderson.
Along Union Street, power lines are down, and roofs have been ripped apart.
Johnny Martin's roof was torn open and covered with area debris.
"I don't even know where my roof is," said Martin.
Nearby resident Eto Parker heard the storm strike as he lay in bed.
"I heard something that sounded like a train, but I ain't hear nothing. Know what I'm saying?" said Parker. "[It] wasn't a train. It was a bad roar, like it was touching down in spots."
According to residents, a mangled and twisted trampoline that was found in front of one house was thrown by the storm from a home across the street.
Many said this storm came with bad timing
"Right around Christmas," said Parker.
But some here said in a way, it was good timing. Since the storm struck early morning, there was no one conducting business, preventing many injuries.
A nearby BP gas station was a debris field. What used to be an awning above the gas pumps has now become scrap.
Mercedes Benz of Mobile had numerous cameras that were rolling as an EF-1 tornado tore through parts of the city.
A BP gas station on Springhill Avenue and Union Avenue also captured strong winds and rain from the twister. The area was one of the hardest hit by the storm.
Sufian Odeh has owned the business for just over a year and says he arrived Thursday morning to find severe damage to the building.
"The alarm company called me about 4:30 this morning," said Odeh. "As soon as I got to the light here on union and Springhill it's just shocked me to see the canopy gone."
Pieces of the canopy were found several blocks away, on top of a tree.
The surveillance camera that caught the twister was ripped out of the storefront and tossed into the street.
The storm demolished several homes and damaged dozens of businesses.
"Rochelle restaurant, everything's gone too," said Odeh. "The furniture store, they have a lot of damage on it."
Many however said they are optimistic they will bounce back from the tragedy.
Power has since been restored to the area.
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