‘It’s just tough:’ Washington Co. residents grapple with tornado destruction

The man who was in the house at the time, Dean Locke, ran outside to his car and was trapped there under the debris until the fire department rescued him.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 8:31 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tornado swept through Washington County early Thursday morning, leaving several homes destroyed.

One home in Alford was thrown across the yard, crashing into a barn.

The man who was in the house at the time, Dean Locke, ran outside to his car and was trapped there under the debris until the fire department rescued him.

He was later transported to the hospital for a broken back.

The man’s uncle, Euliss Locke, said Dean was in bed at the time. He woke up as the tornado hit and ran outside to take cover under his truck. Locke and other family members were out searching for anything salvageable to save on Thursday.

“This is family,” Euliss said. “The house that was destroyed this morning, that’s the house I grew up in. It’s a family house and it’s been passed down several years.”

Dean’s sister said the one item she found in perfect condition was a broom that dean had hanging on his wall, which belonged to their mother, who passed away many years ago.

She said she saw it as a small sign of hope.

Dean’s sister-in-law, Shannon Locke, lives just down the road. Her home was also damaged, though not nearly as much.

She said she and her roommate hid in their closet when the tornado hit. She remembers hearing a loud sound, almost like a train. It blew out her windows and sent parts of her barn roof flying.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” Shannon said. “Glad that I have family and friends that came out to help. It’s just tough. It’s just tough.”

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