Five Years Later, Allen County Residents Remember Deadly Tornado

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

Five years ago, President Obama won the primary election to become the democratic nominee for president, but that's not what several area residents remember about Super Tuesday 2008.

Several tornadoes swept through much of the South.

Allen County residents say an EF-3 tornado destroyed much of the Eastern side of the county.

First responder Hal Parrish says it was the most destruction in Allen County he's ever seen.

"The woods were giant thick woods and it ripped it to pieces. It used to be you couldn't even see through it and now there's not a good tree probably left in it," Officer Parrish says.

The trees are the only recognizable sign of destruction in left in Allen County from the February 5th, 2008 tornado, but families are still trying to pick up the pieces.

"People's lives are still broken and lost and you know remember loved ones today, but the actual clean-up took three to four months to clean-up the areas and the homes and around the facilities," says Allen County Emergency Management Director, Gary Petty.

Three newly built barns represent the path the tornado took in Allen County, where three families lived, and four people lost their lives.

"Right directly behind me was a double wide trailer and just beyond it was a single wide trailer and beyond it was and beyond it was a small framed house. This was just an open field through here, nothing but splinters and two or three automobiles," Officer Parrish says.

The tornado affected Officer Parrish personally and professionally.

When the sun came up that day and I was sitting back here on the four wheeler with me and the coroner, I saw things that I couldn't believe," he says.

After the tornado, the Allen County Fiscal Court and Emergency Management submitted an application to FEMA requesting community safe rooms in the county.

Those safe rooms are currently being constructed at all three county fire departments.

Officer Parrish says the community really came together to clean-up the storm damage.


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