WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Two people died Thursday after a likely tornado touched down early that morning in Washington County.
The possible tornado destroyed their home, as well as the homes of several of their neighbors along Gilbert’s Mill Road.
Residents said they were shocked and trying to figure out their next move, Washington County resident Donna Bratcher’s niece lost her home during the storm.
“Oh God, I’m just crying,” Bratcher said. “We lost neighbors down the road. They’ve lost about everything.”
Washington County residents were picking up the pieces of their homes, looking to rebuild their lives after the storm Thursday morning.
Kim Gross said her family left their house minutes before the likely tornado destroyed it.
“Just couldn’t believe it. Still can’t believe it. I still can’t really process everything right now so it’s devastating,” Gross said. “We woke up to our phones going off saying there was a tornado in the area. And we jumped in the truck and left and it hit like two minutes after we left.”
When they returned, their roof was gone. Gross said she lost pictures and memories that couldn’t be replaced.
“It’s a little rough looking in there. There’s dirt and sheetrock. Everything all over everything,” Gross said.
She said she doesn’t have homeowners insurance, and it’s still too fresh to comprehend the tragedy.
“Can’t really actually process everything right now. Still kind of in shock. And we lost our neighbors,” Gross said.
“They’re alive, God saved them. It didn’t happen down the street, but God saved them,” Bratcher said.
While her family is safe, their neighbors lost their parents.
If you’d like to help out the Gross family, they have set up a GoFundMe for donations.