One month after Garner tornado, Woodlands area prepare to weather another storm

Sean Coffey Image
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Garner still reeling from EF-1 tornado brace for new storm
One month after a tornado, Woodlands residents bear down for more severe weather.

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday's severe weather had some residents in Garner on edge -- nearly a month to the day since an EF-1 tornado ripped through a section of the town.

On December 10th, that twister touched down in the Woodlands neighborhood off Timber Drive in Garner.

The scars from that storm, including snapped trees and tarped roofs, were still visible as another powerful storm system moved through Tuesday.

"Every day when I look out the back woods that are destroyed, it's just shocking, every day," said Jon Pitt, who had a section of a tree cut through his bedroom last month.

Pitt's home sits just a few feet from the path of that tornado, and while he's lived through hurricanes and other severe weather he said last month's storm provided a wakeup call.

"You really have to pay attention to what mother nature can do, and in an instant, it can turn your life upside down," he said.

On Tuesday, Pitt was one of the countless homeowners in the Woodlands staring down another severe storm -- and wondering what it might bring.

"That's the first thing that goes through your mind," Pitt said. "Oh great, I don't need another tornado again, how could it possibly happen again? But that's just the way our minds work."

Just down the block, the memory of December 10th is still vivid for William Gay, too.

"I come out like five minutes later, and there's a hole in it -- sticking right there about this far," he said, pointing to a hole in his back door where a tree shard punctured a hole.

WATCH | Close call for Garner family after EF-1 tornado downs tree on home

Structurally, Gay's home was mostly spared last night. Despite Tuesday's forecast, he's hopeful there won't be a next time.

"It won't hit us again. You're snake bit once, we're not going to get nailed again," he said.

But as another storm rumbles through, neighbors say the last one provided an important reminder as the community came out in droves to help.

"You'd be surprised how generous people are when they see someone who really needs some help. It's really heartwarming," Pitt said.

On December 10, 2023, a twister touched down in the Woodlands neighborhood off Timber Drive in Garner. Homeowners are still cleaning up the damage.