Ellicott Tornado: Seven Years Later

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email
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We are approaching record numbers in the U.S. So far this year, more than 900 reports of twisters blasting through towns have been seen all over the country.

We haven't had that many tornadoes in such a short period of time since 2004.

This Memorial Day weekend also marked seven years since a tornado whipped through Ellicott.

Ellicott suffered millions of dollars in damage, several homes were destroyed including a school and lots of people in town say every time they hear about a tornado touching down, it reminds them of that day seven years ago.

Funnels big and small have been sweeping across the nation.

"They're scary," said Dennis Carter, former principal of Ellicott School.

This year we saw our first major outbreak of tornadoes in February.

"It's just amazing the power of those things," said Shannon Carter, who lived in Ellicott during the 2001 tornado.

Tornadoes tend to cause much damage and devastation. But when it hits home, you remember details... even seven years later.

"I was in my yard planting flowers all day," Dennis remembers.

"We had no idea it was coming," said Shannon.

Shannon Carter was coaching Babe Ruth baseball at the time. "The weather was kind of nasty that day," he said. He had about 15 kids with him. They were all inside the school in Ellicott. Later he would learn just how close they were to chaos. "We were in that gym 20 minutes prior to the hit."

"Big, huge steel beams just twisted like pretzels," said Dennis.

No one was hurt during the Ellicott twister. But already this year more than 100 people have died at the mercy of a powerful tornado.

Dennis, now retired, used to be the principal of Ellicott School. He said, thank goodness there was no school that day because where they would have put the kids is where the school got hit the hardest.

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