Clinton Police closed neighborhoods affected by the tornado Friday night until sunrise Saturday. Dozens of people witnessed the tornado drop from the sky and touch down in Clinton.
"A white funnel going around like this and windy and hail, " described Devoni Sharp.
"It started close to Trailwood subdivision. Hit a doctor's office over there, went through a mobile home park then across Interstate 20," said Clinton Police Chief Don Byington.
Vehicles were crushed and an 18 wheeler was toppled on I-20 near Springridge Road. The twister did not stop there. In a view from Skycopter 3, winds peeled off the roof of Bank Plus.
Lakeside and Easthaven subdivisions were hit hardest.
"It just went wooh, then I started hearing things falling around us and it was just horrible," said Eva Arana of Easthaven subdivision.
"It was tough. It was rolling. I've been close to them before. Never had one this close," said Church Street Clif Crawford.
Just across from hard hit Church Street sits East Side Elementary School and nearby Morrison Heights Child Development. Both were untouched.
"We have to be grateful tonight that we have a school and a day care that was left unscathed and that's because the Lord was looking out for those children," said Clinton Mayor Rosemary Aultman.
Four people were hurt. No one was killed. City, county and state officials will begin the task Saturday of assessing the damage and cleaning up what the tornado left in its wake.
"Tonight it is dangerous out there. There's still power lines, there's still potentially maybe gas lines that may be leaking, that sort of thing. So people don't need to be traveling in this are unless they absolutely have to," said MEMA Executive Director Mike Womack.
©2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.More >>
One customer at a gas station in Clinton claims water in the fuel damaged his vehicle.More >>