Lexington Park resident went to help neighbor, realized his roof was gone

Published 10:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2023

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A Lexington Park Drive resident was unaware of the extensive damage a tornado caused to his home until he went outside to check on a friend.

After weathering the storm in a closet, William Fields went outside to check on a neighbor and discovered his home’s roof had been taken off.

Fields said he had been sleeping prior to when the tornado hit. He was alerted by emergency alarms on his phone, so he went outside to look for the storm.

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Shortly after going in and out of the home to make sure he had batteries for his flashlight to prepare for the incoming storm, Fields said the storm hit.

“I never saw any hail. I never saw a funnel cloud, but I heard the howling. That howling was just a real deep noise,” Fields said. “I was like, ‘man, this thing is close.’”

Fields said the wind started shifting, and he heard more howling, so he went back inside and closed his garage door. Then, it began to shake.

“It sounded like a monster that was trying to get in it was shaking just that hard,” he said.

Fields then began to feel the pressure change in his ears, so he went right to a closet and called his wife, telling her to not come home. While Fields was talking to his wife, he began hearing a crackling that he would later discover was the upper portion of his home being destroyed by the tornado.

Fields said he was in the closet for a couple of minutes but knew it was over when the pressure changed.

“When my wife asked me, ‘How did you know when to come out?’ I had to stop and think about it. I said well, ‘I didn’t feel any more pressure,’” Fields said.

Fields said after the tornado passed he went to check on a neighbor with health issues and didn’t immediately notice the damage to his own house. When the neighbor didn’t answer the door, he turned around and noticed his roof had been destroyed.

“It didn’t dawn on me to do that yet. I was trying to look and help other people,” he said.

Fields said fortunately no one was hurt. He said he was the only one at home at the time.