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EF-3 TORNADO HITS ORRICK

Kasara Arnold looks over the storm damage Sunday from Saturday evening’s EF-3 tornado. Trees fell on the front and the back of her home on Wells Street. She said her mother, Raniesa Sherrill, typically watches for tornadoes, but when Sherrill ran for the basement, ‘I knew we were going to get hit,’ she said. The family is staying at her grandparents’ home on Kirkham Street, which wasn’t as badly affected. (Photos by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

Kasara Arnold looks over the storm damage Sunday from Saturday evening’s EF-3 tornado. Trees fell on the front and the back of her home on Wells Street. She said her mother, Raniesa Sherrill, typically watches for tornadoes, but when Sherrill ran for the basement, ‘I knew we were going to get hit,’ she said. The family is staying at her grandparents’ home on Kirkham Street, which wasn’t as badly affected. (Photos by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

• Two-thirds of homes affected  • School closed until Tuesday   • Graduation ceremony moves to Excelsior

 By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

The sound of chainsaws droned in the background Sunday as residents and volunteers cleared debris from an EF-3 tornado that hit Orrick around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Two-thirds of the town’s homes sustained damage from the tornado – 16 destroyed and 15 with major damage, according to State Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross assessments.

Areas south of Front Street were especially hit hard with widespread roof damage, blown-out windows, destroyed out buildings and downed trees and power lines. An empty Orrick Farm Service grain silo crumpled from the force of the storm. There were no reported injuries, according to Orrick Fire Protection District Fire Chief Mike Arnold.

“We hope to have it declared a disaster area. Don’t know if that’ll happen,” he said, because the area impacted is relatively small. Orrick’s firehouse has been transformed into a command center, coordinating efforts with city and county officials, SEMA, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and church disaster-aid groups. The city is under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew; access to the town is restricted today and may continue Tuesday, because of downed lines and debris.

The Red Cross will interview those who sustained major home damage and need financial aid 1 to 6 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Orrick Lions Club, according to Mayor Cindy Lampton.

 

See more photos of the storm Photo Gallery on this Web site.

 

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