Robertson County cleans up, assesses tornado damage

Robertson County cleans up, assesses tornado damage (Image 1)

The peace and quiet of wide open spaces in Robertson County was blown away early Wednesday morning.

“You can see the roof right here blew off,” Eddie Sikora said of his Bethlehem Road home just outside of Springfield.

The single-wide trailer was bought in the 1970s, and reinforced by his grandfather and father over the years.

It took mere minutes to nearly rip it apart.

“I said, 'Rob, I think we better take cover,'” Sikora said. “As soon as he got up and went that way, that's when this collapsed.”

Insulation hangs like drapes in the room where Sikora and his brother Rob were playing video games in the moments after returning home from work and before the storm struck.

When Sikora and his brother ran for cover, they grabbed Sikora's mother and nephew from the opposite end of the home and huddled in an interior laundry room. The family of four survived unharmed.

The family next door also survived by taking cover.

“[We spent] probably 30 minutes in the basement, and we started to come out to survey the damage. It was breathtaking,” said Ernie Harper.

Harper's 26 acres backs up to Sikora's property.

“That field is basically gone. The barn over here, totally demolished,” Harper said.

Harper built the barn in 1997 for his chickens. The field also housed coops for the 300 egg-producers.

Harper spent much of Wednesday mending fences and securing hens.

“I've got five, I know, dead,” he said. “That tree, last night, it probably had 90 hens in it. I have no idea where they're at.”

Despite the damage, Harper told Nashville's News 2 he felt lucky.

“We're fortunate,” he said. “Some people don't have a house tonight. Our house is secure. The Lord took care of us.”

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF0 tornado in Robertson County around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

County Emergency Management Agency Director R. L. Douglas estimated as many as 100 homes in the county were damaged.

The cost of the damage is not yet known.

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