Savannah media confirm Bulloch County tornado, seven injured
Hubert, Ga. — Savannah media confirmed this afternoon that a tornado hit eastern Bulloch County early this morning.
The media outlets (WSAV-DT, WTOC-TV and WJCL) along with severe weather surveyors from the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency toured the damage that happened along GA Highway 119 and SOUTH OLD RIVER RD.
A Hubert man who lost his home thanked WTOC for the app alert on his duopoly phone.
WTOC: “What woke you up, and what did you see?”
Keith Egen, of Hubert: “Your app! It went off and I sat up and told my wife, ‘there’s a storm out there.’
Across the woods, Timothy Ogle, also of Hubert, and his family huddled in to the bathroom of their mobile home – which was not a wise move.
“It started shaking, and it started to tumble like we were clothes in a washing machine,” Mr. Ogle said.
Mr. Egen gathered his family in a ground floor closet in the midst of falling trees, flying glass and other debris.
“It was roaring like a train, you know. I’ve always heard that but didn’t know what they meant, but that’s what it sounds like. Then, 45 seconds to a minute-and-a-half, and it was gone. I could hear it and I thought the house was gonna go up over us,” he said.
Mr. Ogle and his family of five had to crawl to safety in the aftermath, and he ran to get help. Besides his mother’s broken bones, they remain okay considering what they survived and the fact that they were in a structure that would have killed them if the tornado’s strength was any stronger (EF-2 or higher).
“It’s nothing short of a miracle. An absolute miracle. I thank the Lord,” he said.
Cleanup started at civil twilight this morning to pen and close roads and make room for utility crews to replace fallen power lines.
“I understand they’ve got half-a-dozen poles to replace. Then they’ll start restringing lines because we’ve got a big mess,” said county transportation director, Dink Butler.
Mr. Ogle’s mother was one of seven people injured in the twister. The tornado hit another home in eastern Bulloch County and injured an entire family of five.
The tornado is the eleventh to hit the Central Savannah River Area since January 21. This is the ninth tornado in the CSRA rated EF-1 or higher to hit the area.
Bulloch is the seventh county to be hit by a tornado. Bamberg, Barnwell, Burke, Emanuel and Orangeburg counties were hit by tornados on the weekend of January 21.