SAKS — While the National Weather Service did not formally designate any tornadoes in Calhoun County on Saturday, residents in Saks reported seeing a funnel cloud which knocked down trees and power lines.
Tommy Love, who lives on West 49th St. in Saks, was outside cleaning up debris in front of his home after the storm had moved on.
“A tornado came through the road right here and I was sitting in the living room and I had my living room door open and you could see the funnel as it came by, it cut across the church parking lot, hit trees, ripped power lines down, tore the steeple off the church and destroyed my truck,” said Love, referring to First Baptist Church of Saks.
Love stood beside his truck which had been crushed by a tree. Power lines snaked across the ground.
Love said the funnel cloud he saw sounded like “a train going by.”
“When it knocked the power lines down it was shooting fireballs across the yard about two feet in diameter,” said Love.
“My son, he was walking through the yard and he was getting drug through the yard by the tornado, he had to grab ahold of the porch to keep from going and the tree about got him,” Love said.
Love’s son, also named Tommy Love, said he saw a “bunch of stuff spinning around,” when he held onto the porch.
“My mom came out of the door screaming, she saw me getting pulled so she grabbed me and I grabbed her,” said the younger Love.
A path of destruction including snapped trees and downed power lines were seen on either side of Love’s residence.
At the nearby Baptist church, Lynn Martin, the church’s administrator was assessing the damage to the church.
“It blew our steeple off and that’s a pretty good blow,” said Martin.
Martin said that meteorologists on television said that there might have been a tornado in the U.S. 431 area of Saks.
Besides the steeple, which has been on the church for over 20 years, there was some minor damage in the sanctuary, according to Martin.
Power was out at the traffic light at U.S. 431 and Saks Road causing potentially dangerous confusion for motorists regarding who had the right of way.
A large tree and power lines were blocking Bryan Avenue, which is off of Saks Road.