NWS confirms EF-1 tornado struck Hazel Green - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

NWS confirms EF-1 tornado struck Hazel Green

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A mini-mart in Hazel Green was destroyed by straight-line winds, however NWS confirmed a tornado did hit the town. A mini-mart in Hazel Green was destroyed by straight-line winds, however NWS confirmed a tornado did hit the town.
A capture from one of the last moments of security camera footage from Moh's Mini-Mart. A capture from one of the last moments of security camera footage from Moh's Mini-Mart.
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Hazel Green, AL (WAFF) -

Crews with the National Weather Service spent Wednesday in Hazel Green, continuing to examine damage left behind after this week's severe weather. They confirmed later in the evening that the storm was in fact an EF-1 tornado.

"Usually it takes more than one building, because usually there's a consistent pattern you look for," explained NWS Science & Operations Officer Brian Carcione. "For example, in the case of blown-down trees, do the trees converge in a specific pattern or are they all blown down in one way."

The crew in Hazel Green stopped at Moh's Mini-Mart, which suffered almost complete destruction in Monday's storm. As the sirens sounded on Monday, security cameras at the store were rolling seconds before the tornado destroyed the store.

"The wind starts moving and the rain starts getting heavier... it seems about 6:05 when it got hit," describes store owner Muhammad Kloub as he reviews the camera footage.

After the storm, Kloub and his friends picked through the wreckage of the store. Two cinderblock walls had toppled and shattered.

Carcione said the damage may have been indicative of a second surge of wind around the southern side of the tornado. Ultimately, it was determined Moh's was destroyed by straight-line winds.

Learn more about straight-line winds from the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Kloub continued to review the footage of the cameras. Winds blasted back and forth. To the west, the storm moved in.

"You can see it, across the field, coming toward the store," he said.

As the clock hit 6:05:30, one of the last things the camera caught was the final punishing wave of wind moving across the farm field, and then...

"Boom, that's it, when the power went out," he said.

At  that time on a normal evening, Kloub said he would have been in the store. He feels lucky he wasn't in the store when it came apart.

"Usually they say 'storm,' and I stay. It doesn't bother me. This time, I had a strange feeling so I said I would leave," he said.

Kloub said he does have insurance, but considering he has made claims in the past, this is likely to cost a lot.

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