Residents recall weekend tornado that devastated Wetumpka

EF-2 storm destroys homes, centers, churches

WETUMPKA, AL (WBRC) - Roofs missing, downed trees and power lines and a church reduced to a pile of brick and splintered wood. Clean-up is now underway in Wetumpka after a tornado touched down on Saturday, producing significant damage.

"I have a house down here that is completely destroyed and it was picked up and moved about five feet off of the foundation. The roof is off, all the windows are out, and the walls are separated - it was completely destroyed,” said Ron Drinkerd.

Drinkerd was fortunately not at home when the tornado developed. However, some of his neighbors rode out the storm.

“We saw on the cameras and everything they were showing on the news, but you didn’t see it was coming. They were talking about how it was blinded by the rain. All of a sudden you had devastation just within minutes," said Stephanie Schulte.

The WBRC Weather Team First Alerted you on Saturday as tornadoes threatened both Coosa and Elmore counties. The tornado in Wetumpka was rated a high-end EF2 in the preliminary survey by the National Weather Service, with maximum winds of 120 to 130 mph. This was one of four tornadoes to impact central Alabama, including an EF-1 in Coosa County, just southeast of Rockford, along County Road 101.

What happened Saturday is a reminder that tornadoes in Alabama can happen during any time of the year when conditions are favorable.

“I will tell you this, anytime you get an emergency weather alert it shows you need to take it seriously, and folks like you that do that job and give us a heads-up. We need to stay in-tune and do as we’re told to do,” said Senator Will Barfoot.

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