Opelika homeowners say tornado caused thousands in damage

Opelika homeowners say tornado caused thousands in damage

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -  The National Weather Service confirms an EF-0 tornado came ripping through Opelika Saturday evening.

Lee Road 267 is said to be one of the hardest hit areas in Opelika. Piles of trees and metal lines the street as homeowners say the damage done is going to cost them thousands of dollars.

James Andrews says he's lived on Lee Road 621 since 1980 and was inside his house painting when a tornado came ripping through his neighborhood over the weekend.

"Just all of a sudden…BOOM.. and everything just started flying all over the place," says Andrews. "Never seen nothing like it… you could see it just twisting and tearing the tops of the trees out."

Katy Carson, the Lee County Emergency Management Agency director, says the EF-0 rating given by the National Weather Service means the tornado produced above 80 MPH winds and the assessment is based on damage of structures.

"The National Weather Service doesn't look at tree damage,  they look at structure damage," says Carson. "It's very rare for us to get a photo of a funnel here, so that has really shocked a lot of people to see that. It shocked us."

Power crews and tractors were out today sawing and repairing the damage left behind. For homeowners on Lee Road 261, some say the damage comes with a hefty price tag.

"All the damage around here is probably going to be somewhere around $20,000 or better," says Andrews.

A good deal of damage is done, but locals and emergency management staff say they are thankful no one was hurt.

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