HOSFORD, Fla. (WMBB) — “It was very scary, I was crying,” said Lilly Bates, an 8th grader at a Hosford school.
The students had just returned from a field trip Thursday afternoon.
“We went into the hallways,” Lilly told Amy Hoyt as she recounted having to hunker down as the tornado passed right by their campus. “Did the thing where you put your hands over your head and stuff.”
At the same time, her mom Ashley was home alone, about a mile away.
“I had just gotten home from work a little while ago and was just doing some laundry,” Ashley told us. That’s when she got an alert on her phone. Bates took her cat and got into a safe room.
“I went and got in our shower downstairs,” Bates added. “Just praying that at least I would be ok.”
The high winds sounded like an explosion. Ashley Bates said she didn’t expect to have the second story of her house left afterward.
After about 20 minutes the storm passed and Ashley’s husband made it safely home.
The house they had moved into just a year ago was damaged.
“A bunch of our windows were blown out,” Bates said. “That’s from our roof. There’s water leaking through to the bottom.”
Also on the property, downed trees took out her home office and work shed.
“A small business where I made t-shirts, DTG printer, my computer, all my husband’s tools. He’s a big fisherman, so all his fishing stuff,” Bates continued. “Just baby pictures, just a lot of sentimental stuff.”
But they weren’t the only victims, more downed trees damaged homes along Highway 65.
“I was told you could see where the tornado went through and it cut out a path through the woods,” Liberty County Sheriff Buddy Money said, but in spite of all the damage, there was some good news.
“Now, we’ve got some damage on homes south of 20, from trees being down damaging them,” Sheriff Money continued. “But there’s no loss of life, no injuries I’m aware of.”