Red Cross assists county residents

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008

NATCHEZ — Making their way through cold rain and ice on Thursday, Red Cross volunteers traversed Tuesday’s storm debris to gauge the needs of those impacted by Tuesday’s foul weather.

The community assessment brought Red Cross Chapter Manger Angie Brown and volunteer Pam Frank to the Dana Road area to talk to residents about their experiences and their needs following the storm.

On Thursday morning, many residents in the area were only beginning to get power back to their homes.

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But for some the storm brought more than just power outages.

Many in the neighborhood had extensive damage to their homes from fallen trees.

And while the scene on Dana Road looked almost exactly the same as it did the day after Hurricane Gustav blew through town, some say Tuesday was actually worse.

Brown said in the survey of the area, she’s seen more damaged homes from Tuesday’s storm than she did after Gustav.

“It’s hard to believe,” Brown said.

It was common to see sections of houses crushed by trees, or utility poles snapped and littering the streets.

George Nasif said he had just left his Dana Road residence shortly before the storm struck.

“Trees were crashing down all over the street,” Nasif said.

For shelter, Nasif pulled his SUV under a neighbor’s carport until the winds settled.

In the back of his vehicle, he has a street sign he recovered just after the storm.

“The wind just ripped it,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything like that.”

Back at Nasif’s house, a massive branch punched holes in his roof.

“No one was home at the time, so I consider myself lucky,” he said.

Brown agreed.

Brown said as she and Frank made their way though the community, they haven’t found people in need of much.

“We’ve brought coffee and food to some people with no power,” Brown said.

“But people are doing OK.”

Brown said of the more than 30 homes she and Frank toured during the week, only one was deemed uninhabitable.