For most of the homeowners and family members who worked to pick up the pieces of their shattered property Monday, that was the most shocking aspect of the tornado that came through Marshall County earlier that morning.
“There was no warning,” said one resident who fled to safety with her husband as the storm arrived, “I was looking at my phone on one of the weather channels, and there was no warnings for anything.”
She said she remembered thinking that was strange, and about as soon as her phone displayed a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Marshall County, everything got eerily quiet.
“It just got calm and there was no sound,” she said, “I looked at the radar and it was all storms, and I was like ‘why would it stop’? That was when we heard it.”
She said her husband woke up and looked out the window and told her they had to run. She said they were able to arrive at her parent’s house just as it arrived.
“I’m just glad nothing hit us when we were running,” she said. “I think once we got to the porch is when [the building next door] started to tear apart. It was scary. The wind was so strong.”
Sonya Beck, another resident whose family shop was heavily damaged, was in her home asleep when the storm woke her up.
“I heard no warning,” she said. “There was absolutely no warning.”
She said it was around 6:45 in the morning when she got a tornado warning alert on her phone, but that was already after it had come past.
“There was a warning for Blount County and then when it got to Marshall County they had put up a severe thunderstorm warning, but there was no other notice than that.”
She said she had dozed off on the couch and woke up to the blue flash of the transformer beside their shop going out.
She said she went outside to check on the trees that bordered the house but by the time she got out to the porch it was already over.
“We were lucky,” she said. “It literally came out of nowhere.”
She did say they had three brothers within a mile radius lose their shops, and there were many homes that were damaged.
She said this wasn’t the first time a tornado had come through the area, and they had some damage in the ones that came through in 2011.
“Apparently tornadoes like this area,” she said.
While there were conflicting reports of how many tornadoes were in the area everyone agreed that it was over just as quickly as it began.
Before it left, however, it carved a path through parts of the county and left in its wake overturned campers, destroyed buildings and downed power lines.
Next door to Beck’s property was a camper turned over on its side and pushed against another shop building. The owner apparently, was inside when the tornado came through and had been taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Down the hill, the total amount of damage wrought in the neighborhood was clear as workers and power company officials worked around a trailer without a roof to clean up debris, cut up downed trees, and make sure there were no downed power lines on the road.
One homeowner even had a building full of classic cars in different stages of the restoration process that came down on top of them. He said they could be repaired and he was just glad everyone was safe.
While a sound like a train is probably the one most associated with an approaching tornado, the sound of working chainsaws is the most recognizable during the aftermath and cleanup.
The roads of the Horton area were no different, and throughout the day the cutting of these machines could be heard from all over as people from all walks of life worked to clean up or repair their lost property one tree limb or broken board at a time.