"There Was A Home Here" - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

"There Was A Home Here"

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Residents of Wewahitchka are picking up the pieces after a tornado came roaring through the area Tuesday morning.

The storm uprooted trees, tore off roofs and left hundreds of people without power.  "It appears that the tornado went through the Land's Landing area and through Cochran Landing and out at Cox Landing," Marshall Nelson, Gulf County Emergency Management Director, said.

The storm system, with heavy rain and high winds, moved northeast across Gulf County and spawned the tornado at about 9:00 a.m.

"We have a lot of trees down and we have some structural damage to some of the houses," Nelson said.  "But it could have been a lot worse.

For Tom Kowcun, who lives on Cox Landing Road, it was as bad as it gets.  He was gone to buy bait when the storm came right through the center of his property and left his home in pieces.  "There was a home here just a couple of hours ago but I lost everything," Kowcun said.  "I don't know what I'm going to do now."

Hadley Adkins was outside just before the tornado hit and saw it coming.  "I ran back inside and I got my mother and my children and made them get into the bathroom... that was the safest place for us at the time," Adkins said.  "It was pretty scary to be honest with you."

Kowcun said he still hasn't found his boat, can't drive his damaged truck, and lost everything except his dog.  "The dog was fine [but] the doghouse was floating in the river with everything else," he said.  "All my freezers, washer, dryer, everything went down the river."

Nelson said as many as 1,700 customers were without power shortly after the storm but utility crews had restored service to most of them by nightfall.  One woman in the Cox Landing area was "shaken up" and taken to the hospital but there were no reports of injuries, Nelson said.

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