‘Just in shock and awe;’ Butler Co. family glad to be safe after tornado rips through home

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Butler County — but one family said they knew exactly what was happening as they watched their roof torn apart.

Nate Kuykendoll described how his oldest son felt as he was home alone and Monday’s tornado ripped over their house.

“The roof came off and he looked up and was there when it was happening. He didn’t know what was going on,” Kuykendall said.

He said his son ran downstairs with the dogs to get out of the house safely.

Kuykendalls’ neighbor Jim Smith recalled standing in the street watching the storm roll through.

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“All of a sudden, I just seen all the trees shaking and there’s like a wall of rain with hail. I mean, it was straight and it sounded like a freight train,” Smith said.

That’s when Smith realized what was happening as the cornfield “started spinning.”

“As it was spinning, it started rising up. I looked up and I could see a funnel drop, and it dawned on me I’m standing here watching a tornado. And so I ran straight into my house, got the wife. We ran into a room, sat down and you could hear pass over,” Smith said.

The NWS visited their street Tuesday and confirmed a tornado had touched down.

Andy Hatzos, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said the narrow path of damage and how far tornado winds threw debris were telltale sounds of a twister.

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“Especially sheet metal, some small pieces of plywood carried at least a quarter mile, if not further into the next field. So that’s a pretty significant distance. And that’s one thing that is an indication to us,” Hatzos said.

After it rolled through, Smith said he left his house to make sure everyone at Kuykendoll’s house was okay — luckily no one was hurt.

“Everybody’s okay. Everybody safe, that’s all -- that’s the most important thing. That’s all that matters to us,” Kuykendall said.

Butler County’s Emergency Management Agency director said no injuries have been reported from the storm anywhere in the county.

The NWS is working on its final reports for all three areas surveyed, we will update as those reports become available.