CRICHTON, Ala. (WALA) - Soon after a tornado ripped through Union Avenue Thursday , Dec.20, one concerned Mobile resident shot cell phone video of its aftermath, providing us with an early look of the scene and Crichton residents.
Annette Martin-Mitchell said on her way to work this morning, she detoured to Union Avenue, where her brother and sister-in-law have a home.
"When I got down to the end of the street, I couldn't even recognize the street. I didn't know which way to go to find them," said Annette Martin-Mitchell.
Union Avenue sustained major storm damage. Homes were ruined. Trees were knocked down; even the street sign was torn from its post on Old Shell Road.
Mitchell made her way toward her brother's home.
"I saw him walking this way, and I just screamed, ‘Johnny!' And when he turned around, I just ran and embraced him just to know that he was OK and my sister-in-law was OK," said Mitchell.
There house was another matter. Its roof was punctured by the storm.
After locating her brother, Mitchell videotaped the storm's damage and even interviewed several homeowners.
"I knew that you all would not be able to get down (to the area) because the police were on the scene, and they were doing what they needed to do to secure the area," said Mitchell.
Video shot by Mitchell shows a neighbors home missing its roof and right-side wall.
She said the owner got his kids and wife out safely.
Mitchell's brother Johnny Martin left his home before the storm hit. He was in Mississippi about to start work.
"I got a call that the window was broke, and it was raining in the house," said Martin.
He thought the call from his wife was about some minor damage.
"Three minutes later, I got another call that the roof had blown off the house. And when I got home, it was a disaster," said Martin.
Martin said he rushed home, concerned about his wife and their home.
"I was just hoping she was alright; and when I got here, she was sitting in the living room crying," said Martin.
Sections of roof were peeled away from their home allowing water to drip inside.
"So right now, we got to find somewhere to go," said Martin.
Martin said Christmas presents were lost, but he was thankful he and his wife survived unharmed.
Martin didn't have an estimate for the damage to his home, but insurance adjusters were on scene up and down Union Avenue Thursday.
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