Small tornado hits Lake Township debris

Ron Gravatt, owner of Gravatt Door and Custom Glass on Sandy Lake-Greenville Road in Lake Township, takes a break from restacking debris at a building behind his store that was damanged by Wednesday’s tornado. His business along with neighboring McCullough’s Kitchen Table restaurant were hit by the tornado.

LAKE TOWNSHIP – As ferocious winds battered his Lake Township restaurant Wednesday night, a terrified Adam McCullough led a customer to the basement.

“Just to know what that means, I’m not a panic kind of guy,’’ McCullough said. “I’m an everything-is-OK kind of guy.’’

But everything wasn’t OK.

Small tornado hits Lake Township door

Adam McCullough, owner of McCullough’s Kitchen Table restaurant, checks out a new door installed at his business to replaced one destroyed Wednesday evening by a tornado at his Lake Township restaurant. A tornado rated EF1 by the National Weather Service hit Lake Township around 6:30 p.m. and traveled a quarter-mile with up to 100mph winds. No injuries were reported. McCullough and a customer hunkered down in the restaurant’s basement until the tornado passed.

McCullough didn’t need a meteorologist to know they were facing a tornado at his McCullough’s Kitchen Table restaurant.

“I saw the clouds rotating, and the horizontal rain,’’ he said. “You could feel the whole building shaking.’’

The National Weather Service confirmed it.

After investigating wind damage Thursday morning in northeastern Mercer County, the agency said a low-intensity tornado smacked his business at about 6:30 p.m. It traveled a quarter of a mile, battering several other properties with winds reaching 100 mph.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Small tornado hits Lake Township metal

Wednesday’s tornado blew this sheet of metal from Gravatt Door and Custom Glass 200 yards across the road.

Emerging from his basement, less than 30 seconds after the tornado struck, McCullough assessed the damage: Two doors ripped off their hinges, downed trees, and a severely mangled roof with structural damage to a side entrance.

On Sandy Lake-Greenville Road, his next door business neighbor, Gravatt Door and Custom Glass, also got clobbered. A building behind the store was demolished.

Small tornado hits Lake Township tree

McCullough's Kitchen Table restaurant in Lake Township suffered downed trees along with structural and roof damage caused by Wednesday’s tornado.

“It looks like it just blew up,’’ owner Ron Gravatt said. “It’s wild.’’

The tornado ripped sheets of metal off Gravatt’s store, hurling the strips 200 yards across the street. Traveling northwest a couple of hundred yards, the tornado sliced through a cornfield like a scythe.

Small tornado hits Lake Township light

A can-style ceiling light was sucked thorough the roof of McCullough's Kitchen Table restaurant during Wednesday’s tornado, said restaurant owner Adam McCullough.

Strangely, a can spotlight in the ceiling, behind the restaurant’s counter, vanished. “The tornado just sucked it right out through the roof,’’ McCullough said.

Despite savage winds hurling debris everywhere, Gravatt’s prized 2013 Dodge Charger in the store’s parking lot escaped with nary a scratch. “I picked up wood and all kinds of material around it,’’ he said. “I can’t believe it didn’t get touched.’’

Small tornado hits Lake Township car

Ron Gravatt's prized 2103 Dodge Charger didn’t get a scratch even though it sat in his store’s parking lot when Wednesday’s tornado blew through Lake Township.

Both men said they hadn’t estimated damages. But a major part of Gravatt’s business is selling doors. He took time off from his cleanup to help install two new doors at the restaurant.

Small tornado hits Lake Township tree2

Trees were snapped by Wednesday’s tornado along a quarter-mile stretch in Lake Township. The National Weather Service said it was an EF1 tornado with winds up to 100mph. Tornado strength is measured on the Enhanced Fujita Scale rating from EF0 to EF5.

“This is what neighbors do,’’ Gravatt said.

Trending Video