Jay Paxson knew exactly where to find the bright spot in the dozens of downed trees, a heavily damaged "Welcome to Cecilton" sign, and tipped over portable toilets.
It was sitting in the 100 block of West Main Street. An ancient large tree fell, missing the Zion United Methodist parsonage by mere feet.
Damaging winds split trees and did extensive damage in the Cecilton and Earleville areas the evening of Sunday, August 14. Paxson, who oversees maintenance in Cecilton, took to the streets.
"I saw it happening and went to make sure there were no trees on houses or blocking the roads," said Paxson. Monday morning, Paxson and crewmen Mike Berry put in extra hours cutting trees, removing the damaged town sign, and more.
The two park portable toilets had flipped over and that was handled by the contractor.
"Big trees were split in half in the park and behind the shop. Debris was everywhere. Trash cans were flipped over. We dragged trees back behind the wastewater plant," said Paxson. "We got behind in our grass mowing. And we needed to get curbs painted."
Cecilton has one parade a year. The parade preparations had to be completed by Wednesday.
"Three telephone poles, a barn, and cornfields were damaged about five miles from town. We've been trying to spruce up town for the parade," said Paxson.
Cecilton Mayor Joe Zang said he was thankful, despite the damage.
"Nobody's hurt and everybody's safe. That's what matters," Mayor Zang said. He also said that residents had water and power. "I was out in it. We got pretty lucky," he said.
"I don't think we had a tornado