MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - Wicked weather ripped through the Theodore-Dawes area Wednesday morning. One man described it as "thirty seconds of pure hell." Officials say on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the tornado was ranked as an EF2.
The BP gas station that sits on the corner of Old Pascagoula Road and Theodore-Dawes Road seemed to take the brunt of the damage. The service station awning collapsed, trucks were flipped over and the roof was ripped off.
People gathered at Jake's Place across the street in awe of what had just happened.
Jeff Terrell described the crippling blow as "pure hell."
"It was loud, things blowing everywhere. Glass flying, all the lumber flying. Pretty intense for 30-40 seconds," said Terrell.
Terrell said the wind whipped and howled, lightening crashed and people ducked for cover.
"We watched it form over the Food World. Before I could get to my shop, the roof flew off the BP station," said Terrell.
Lots of people huddled under the awning at Jake's Place on Old Pascagoula. Most couldn't believe their eyes.
Larry Bosarge said he is still in awe of what happened.
"I been through some weather now, but nothing like that," said Larry Bosarge. "It was loud and we had just enough time to take cover."
Everywhere you look you can see the damage. Debris strung about, smashed cars and shattered glass.
Richard Neely said he walked right into the storm.
"Oh my God, am I going to die? I hope I don't," said Neely.
Neely said he watched the storm sweep right through the Food World parking lot.
"It picked up that car, that silver corvette and spun it. The wind was blowing real hard," added Neely.
Another woman said it got real dark.
"I thought no, not a tornado, and then when it picked up the buggy and it started flying, we ran," said the woman.
The tornado tossed trucks like toys, including a MAC truck in the BP parking lot.
Police said there were no major injuries from the tornado, but they are encouraging people to avoid the area if possible.
Crews are busy trying to get the power back up and running and clear the debris.
Tre Mason rushed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, leading No. 3 Auburn to a wild 59-42 victory over No. 5 Missouri in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.
Robertsdale police say a man was the victim of a hit and run Saturday, around 30 minutes before the start of the city's annual Christmas parade.
A new study says Alabama has more than 4,700 businesses labeled creative industries and they account for 71,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in annual payroll.
A 23-year old man has been arrested on rape and burglary charges by Mobile Police.
Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor is high on Alabama, and his opinion of its Capital City is on the rise. McArtor toured Montgomery during a recent visit before being applauded by local leaders for his role in bringing a new airplane assembly plant to Mobile.
Wildlife officials are ceasing efforts to rescue a pod of whales that was stranded in the Everglades after losing sight of the marine mammals. The National Park Service says aerial and boat survey teams could not locate the whales Saturday, a potentially encouraging sign that they have moved farther offshore.