Business, homes see damage
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005
NATCHEZ – There were no 100 mph winds, and six inches of rain didn’t fall. But for some Miss-Lou residents, Katrina was every bit the major storm predicted.
It was difficult to say who was more shaken up when a tree crashed through the roof of Quality Glass Monday afternoon, owner Curtis Thornton or his son, Benton.
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Benton Thornton was working in the back of the shop when he heard what he thought was the breaking of glass being thrown into the dumpster outside. In a second, he knew instead it was a large tree splintering off – and in another second, part of the ceiling was resting on his back. He was afraid to move for fear more of it would come down on him.
His father rushed from another room, trying a blocked door before barreling through another.
“I heard a really loud noise,” Curtis said. “I ran that way, but couldn’t get the first door open. When I finally got to him, the roof was on his back. I knew I’d have to take him to the hospital.”
Benton got through it with only a scratch on his neck, which he and his father agree was very lucky. But they experienced what many others throughout Adams County experienced in Monday afternoon due to Hurricane Katrina – property damage, downed trees and power outages.
For Charlene Frazier it didn’t matter that the brunt of Hurricane Katrina missed her by miles.
The 35-mile per hour winds the Miss-Lou faced were enough to send a giant tree through her Ferriday house, causing major structural damage and allowing rainwater to soak the floors.
Frazier, home alone on Townsend Lane, was sitting in her living room around 11 a.m. when the tree fell.
“I was going to lay down in the bed,” she said. “And all I heard was a click. Stuff behind me started falling off the wall. I went outside and all I could see was tree.”
The pecan tree stretched from her neighbor’s property, onto Frazier’s house where it punctured the ceiling in two bedrooms and crushed the wall.
“If I had been laying on the bed, I’d have been gone,” she said. “My babies probably wouldn’t have a momma.”
Frazier has two daughters at Grambling State University. Her husband was out-of-town for work.
Concordia Parish Sheriff’s deputies and Concordia Fire District No. 2 men reported to the scene, along with Frazier’s insurance company.
Removing the tree was not a task for Monday, and Frazier left the home that night to stay with family.
She has lived in the house for 12 years.
Ferriday and the surrounding area saw minor damage from Katrina, including a stripped awning from a metal building and blown debris.
It sounded like a machine gun going off.
“Only much louder,” said Erin Mitchell, her eyes still wide as she stood in the rain outside her house on Lower Woodville Road, watching as public works crews worked to remove a tree that fell across the road.
Mitchell and Anna van Winkle, who were both at home sleeping at the time, were just glad the falling tree didn’t hit their house or anyone else’s.
“It scared the hooey out of us,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell was text messaging a friend in Baton Rouge most of the day, and her friend had no damage at her house.
“I had to call and say, ‘Guess what?'” Mitchell said.
Despite the tree across the road, the storm’s wrath was not as strong as the women expected.
“We were expecting it to be much worse,” Mitchell said of the storm.
In Vidalia, power crews worked for more than 30 minutes around 2 p.m. on Cherry Street to remove a downed tree from power lines.
Neighbor Walter Stampley called the power company when he heard the limb fall.
“I thought it was a tornado,” he said.
“Our house shook, and I thought it was on our house,” his wife Lamathelle said.
Electricity in the area remained on after the limb fell, but crews turned it off when they arrived.
Bean, Julie Finley,
and David Phelps contributed to this story.