Tri-City Ledger -

By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Tornado rips E. Brewton

Gov. Ivey tours damaged areas in Wednesday visit

 

June 24, 2021

Joe Thomas

Gov. Ivey walks through storm-ravaged East Brewton Wednesday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey walked through the destruction in East Brewton Wednesday morning as cleanup efforts continued after a tornado ripped through the area Saturday destroying homes, knocking down trees and tumbling power poles.

The major damage was in East Brewton just east of W.S. Neal High School toward Highway 29 where a trailer park was destroyed. Severe damage was also reported on Riddle Road off of Kirkland Road. While there were several injuries reported no deaths were reported.

"It looked like a bomb exploded," said East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark.

He said when first responders arrived it was like "What do we do? Where to we start?"

Mayor Clark and Police Chief Kenny Brazille said the first order of business was to make sure everybody was OK and accounted for. However, with downed power lines everywhere it slowed down that response immediately. However, Mayor Clark said Alabama Power Co., workers were on the scene quickly and killed all power lines.

"Alabama Power worked like a trooper," Clark said.

Once the power lines were killed, first responders entered the area.

"The response we got was unbelievable," Clark said. "Other communities called to help and people came up with their chainsaws to help clear the roads."

He added that David's Catfish stepped up to feed the city employees as they worked through the debris.

Clark said as far as he knows there were several injuries and at least two people were flown to hospitals in Pensacola and Mobile.

Escambia County Emergency Management Director David Adams said Tuesday an assessment of the damage was continuing but at that point 40 of the 64 homes damaged were destroyed.

Adams said radar tracked the storm beginning at Jay Road in Riverview and headed north, northeast out of East Brewton to Kirkland Road with damage on Riddle Road and Smith Road. He said according to the National Weather Service the tornado took a 22 mile trek about a quarter mile wide. He added that the tornado was listed as an EF 2 in some locations with winds exceeding 120 mph.

Chief Brazille said dispatchers began notifying first responders about 7:30 a.m. Saturday that a tornado had touched down next to the high school.

"Our first priority was to get people accounted for and get them help," Brazille said.

He added that first responders from Brewton, Flomaton, the sheriff's office and state troopers arrived to provide help.

"Overall, it was all hands on deck," Brazille said. "They came and participated without hesitation."

"We had state troopers stationed in East Brewton for at least 48 hours," Brazille said.

He also said there have been no reports of looting, other than a few people gathering up scrap metal.

Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said the first thing he did was to call in all his investigators who were off duty to come help. He also said he sent inmate work crews to go to the affected areas to help.

Joe Thomas

Trees, wind turn area into war zone

"We were there to assist in anyway we could," Jackson said. "We were not so much concerned about property, because that can be replaced. We were interested in getting everybody accounted for and get help to those who needed help."

Although there was minor damage inside the city limits of Brewton, Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace said Brewton crews responded.

"After a tragedy strikes, it warms the heart to see people come together and work together," Lovelace said. "First responders were knocking on doors and Drexel's and Honeybees was there to feed the first responders."

"When bad things happen to our area, we always pull together," Lovelace added.

 
 

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