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Homes damaged, trees downed as possible tornado rips through Central neighborhood

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CENTRAL - Folks in Central are cleaning up after a possible tornado ripped through the Comite Hills West neighborhood Thursday morning.

Surveillance video of Aileen Verkaik’s backyard shows the moments when a potential tornado rolled through the area.

“All of a sudden I hear things hitting my kitchen window...the sound was so loud, I said it was a tornado,” Verkaik said.

A trampoline is seen slamming against a tree in the background, as pool toys fly around in a cyclone motion. All as Verkaik and her family are hunkered down inside.

“During the midst of all of it, run into the hall closet and lasts about a minute and a half. And come out to all the debris,” Verkaik said.

The sound of chainsaws cutting through the misting rain filled the air shortly after the storm passed, with neighbors helping neighbors clear the debris. Some people still shaken by what had happened.

“It was scary. It was scary because you don’t know if your roof is fixin’ to cave in,” Verkaik said.

That fear realized on Brillock Avenue, with a tree slicing right through the front of one home.

Verkaik says she considers herself extremely lucky that her family and home, were spared from this potential tornado, considering what happened to one home just a street away from them.

Luckily for the family that was inside that house when the tree fell, they suffered only minor injuries.

“I said we are the fortunate ones, compared to that home with the mama and her three-week-old baby, and two other children i believe,” Verkaik said.

As residents continue to clean up the mess, officials here are warning folks to stay cautious as they work.

“Some of the tree limbs that had been broken off started to fall we could see one in the distance that hit the ground. So as homeowners are cleaning up the yard be aware of what’s hanging over your head. We don’t want anyone else to get injured,” Derek Glover with the Central Fire Department said.

Injuries are limited so far, and damage limited mostly to two streets and a handful of homes.

The national weather service will be out in the neighborhood Friday to determine if it was, in fact, a tornado that struck the area, and exactly how powerful it was.

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