HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A small tornado touched down briefly in Henderson County Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The twister touched down just east of Hendersonville near the intersection of Sugarloaf Road and Leslie Way around 7:30 p.m.

The NWS estimated the EF0 tornado had wind speeds of 76 miles per hour and caused damage in a path about six-tenths of a mile in length.

The Emergency Manager for Henderson County EMS, Tim McFalls, said overall, around 4 homes were damaged by the tornado.

He said Sunday night was a busy one for their crews.

“We have our normal everyday operations plan. The call comes in, the fire department responds, they do the initial assessment and call us in for help if they need it,” he said.

He said the damaged consisted of a lot of downed trees and power lines.

“They had told us some severe storms coming through, but there was no tornado warnings issued.”

Shawn Gasperson, and his family, had their home damaged due to trees.

“All of a sudden, I just hear smashing on the house. I shot straight up and said I think we had a tree hit the house and ran straight for the kids,” said Gasperson.

Sunday night, he said he had just kicked up his feet, when he heard crashing sounds.

“I started hearing what I thought was thunder, and it just got louder, louder and louder,” he said.

It all happened in the blink of an eye, according to Gasperson.

“It would probably less than 10 seconds for all of it,” said the homeowner.

He said around 10-15 trees came down in his yard.

“When you see it in the daytime, because it was kind of dark last night, you just take in the bigger picture of it, you can actually see what’s going on. It’s a little nuts,” he said.

When the tree hit, he said, he and his wife’s bedroom and closet started flooding. With holes patched up and trees being removed, the father of two said he is lucky.

“The first thing is everyone is fine, my kids are okay. All of this can be fixed, that’s what we get insurance for, right?” said Gasperson.

McFalls said there are ways people can try and protect themselves.

“Stay prepared, sign up for weather alerts, make sure you’re prepared for anything that happens. Stay inside when the winds pick up,” he said.
The tornado continued to cause tree damage through an area of woods just southeast of Naomi Lane.

No injuries were reported.

This was the first confirmed tornado to hit Henderson County since August 21, 1977, the National Weather Service said.