Tornado causes extensive damage in Fruitdale

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 3:24 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Just a scene of destruction as you look at the aftermath of a suspected tornado that touched down near County Road 1 in Fruitdale.

Trees were split in two and uprooted, downed power lines, pieces of wood, metal, and other debris were tossed left and right... and homes were torn apart.

“We got here to work, tornados come through and took this building across the road here from my boss man’s house and just kind of scattered it through,” said Jason Dunham.

A home on Magnolia Circle was in the middle of being renovated. Now the work that’s been done has been destroyed. Windows were blown out and debris was piled across the lawn.

“Yeah a lot of money was put into it, now we have to put a lot more I guess.”

Rochelle Robinson who lives a couple of houses down said she wasn’t home at the time. She came back to find her home still in one piece, but there was other damage.

“When I got here I was really overwhelmed because my cats were inside, my animals were inside, and I pulled up and saw that my car has been pretty much totaled out,” said Rochelle Robinson, “it was a really scary feeling when I woke up this morning I had dozens of calls from people that were just concerned. I’m just really blessed because it could have been so much worse.”

Just across the street, Fruitdale High School was also hit. A building in the back of the school, the gym, and portions of the front of the school took the brunt of the damage.

All schools in Washington County were canceled for the day for safety.

“A large part of our force was out here this morning trying to make sure nobody was injured,” said Washington County Sheriff, Richard Stringer.

“Fortunately we have not had any injuries that have been reported at this time,” said Sheriff Stringer, “a lot of property damage, as you can see one of our schools in the county had a lot, a lot of destruction.”

All that’s left now is to pick up the pieces. Crews were out early Wednesday morning tarping roofs, clearing up tree limbs, and making sure downed powerlines were being replaced.

“Right now, good advice is if you have insurance wait for your insurance company to come and evaluate the damage, and then we’re all going to chip in and start helping clean this place up,” said Sheriff Stringer.


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