Strong winds in Randolph Co. pick up, destroy storage unit - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Strong winds in Randolph Co. pick up, destroy storage unit

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

Strong winds and hail hit Region 8 Sunday night.One person reported spotting a funnel cloud in Randolph County, and multiple people also reported damage in that area.

Laura Stebbins was one of them.

Stebbins said she got a tornado warning on her phone at 7:47 p.m. and that's when everything immediately changed.

"My mom and I were home alone and the wind started getting up really bad," the Shannon resident said. "And finally it just started roaring. We literally thought a tornado was coming down."

Stebbins and her mom took cover, and once they thought it was safe to look out their windows, they saw several large tree branches down in the front yard. Then Stebbins said she spotted something else in the backyard.

"Our storage unit was just a little ways across the yard," she said. "It was pretty bad."

The strong winds picked up the storage unit and rolled it about 24 feet across the backyard. It landed upright.

Stebbins said that move destroyed everything inside.

"We had a refrigerator in there and the freezer door was broken off," she said. "We had three air conditioning units and they're jumbled up. It's bad."

The 24-foot move also destroyed several electric heaters and kitchen supplies.

"Everything's pretty messed up," Stebbins said. "It's a lot of money."

She said her family is out more money to replace the storage unit.

"I don't think it can really be fixed," Stebbins said. "The sides are caved in, it's got a huge hole in the roof of it and the door's not even with the front at all. It won't close."

Stebbins said it's disheartening to see all of this damage when some of it could have been avoided.

"These sheds need to be locked down and honestly we didn't know it wasn't strapped down," she said. "It would have been nice to know."

However, Stebbins said she's grateful her family is safe and the winds did not instead move the storage unit 24 feet toward their home.

"It could have taken out some windows," she said. "I'm just happy it didn't hit the house. No telling how much damage that would have been."

Stebbins said her mom contacted their insurance company Monday morning.

The family plans to file a claim and wait to see how much the damages will cost them.

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