BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A gas station was ground zero Thursday for a tornado that dropped out of a line of severe thunderstorms that cut a swath across southern Glynn County, toppling trees, downing power lines and launching part of a dock across neighboring yards.
The Sunoco Fuel Center at Interstate 95 Exit 29 took a direct hit from the 4 p.m. storm. The front windows crashed inward, the back wall blew out and water gushed out the rear of the building after the twister ruptured a pipe and tore off part of an awning.
Cashier C.J. Larry and several customers were inside the store when the storm hit.
"The front doors were flapping, then all the plate glass fell in," he said.
The power went out just as the storm hit and ceiling tiles and light fixtures were knocked out or pushed up into the ceiling.
The plate glass lay across tobacco and sunglasses displays that had been toppled. Just beyond them, bags of chips and other snacks sat in displays as if nothing had happened.
Larry said he and customers ran toward the back and side of the store as the front came crashing in.
"I'm ready to go home now," he smiled.
Letha Rouse, who lives in the Boykin Ridge subdivision just behind the Sunoco, said she saw trees come out of the ground in her yard.
"I just rode it out. I've never seen anything like that before," she said.