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EF-1 tornado damages Wardsville home

A family is looking at months of clean up and repair after an EF-1 tornado ripped the roof off their home.

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado briefly touched down about one mile northwest of Wardsville. The tornado was on the ground for about two miles and traveled one mile in that time.

The NWS said the tornado first touched down in a small subdivision and caused minor damage to a roof of a single family home.

It then continued northeast causing tree damage and hitting the second home in Wardsville. The tornado caused significant damage to the roof. The NWS estimates wind speeds at 100 mph at this home.

Josh and Jill Antweiler live at the second home in Wardsville that was hit. They said after the roof came off, the rain started pouring into the home, water logging the walls and support beams.

“At that point we didn’t know how bad it’d be so we only grabbed a couple things,” Jill said. “Our computers and pictures and then went downstairs.”

Jill said she noticed the sky getting darker quickly before the tornado hit.

“And all the sudden, all this debris started flying so I just grabbed (my daughter) and ran to the gym and yelled at the guys upstairs,” Jill said.

“It sounded like a train coming through or something,” Jill said “And it was just all the sudden. I’d never heard anything like it.”

“As fast as it came it was gone,” Josh said “There in a second and then gone.”

Josh said he was still upstairs with the other children when the wind starting picking up.

“I don’t really remember hearing her yell but I remember our kids were looking out the window just like, ‘Whoa! Whoa!’ and I just said, ‘To the basement! To the basement!'” Josh said. “I just looked over quickly to look out the window and I saw the deck railing and part of the deck start to go and I knew immediately we just needed to get downstairs.”

Josh said he noticed the covered over the deck had been torn off. He said almost immediately after the home was hit he got a call from a neighbor telling him the roof was gone.

“He said, ‘Your whole roof is gone.’ And I said, ‘Yeah the roof over the deck.’ And he said, ‘No, the roof of your house is gone.'”

The Antweiler’s said their neighbors were over to help almost immediately.

“Shortly after, I mean tons of friends and neighbors came and were in the house, moving things,” Josh said. “I mean, we were in shock so for them to come and move things for us and do things for us and take charge that was really nice. We were able to just take care of the kids and figure out what are the few things we know we do need.”

“We had friends and family were here ASAP to help us move stuff because water started coming in immediately,” Jill said. “There were people up on the roof almost immediately, like, within an hour, they’d gone and bought tarps for us. Tarpped the entire house, the entire roof.”

“We wouldn’t have made it through this without everyone who helped us.”

The tornado kept moving northeast, uprooting and snapping trees along the way. Two large trees fell on a home near the end of the tornado’s path, according to the NWS. The tornado finally dissipated on the southwest bank of the Moreau river where it broke the tops off a few trees.

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