Powerful winds leave family homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Powerful winds leave family homeless

May 3, 2004

Randolph County-- A mobile home is destroyed, and a father of four is hospitalized.

Charles Powers is picking up the pieces of a shattered home. "Yeah, it's scattered pretty good. It's all the way down through the pine thicket, a lot of debris."

"It wasn't my home, it was my next door neighbor's." His neighbor, Kenneth Sauls, is in the hospital with broken bones in his neck. "Sometimes it gives you a wake up call."

The family of six had plans to move this week into a bigger mobile home, but nature moved them without warning. Strong winds picked up the home, the family inside survived, but their belongings are everywhere. "I would consider it a blessing from God that six people walked out of that," said Powers.

Kenneth's wife Tracey was holding her four and three-year-old little girls, Desiree and Renee, in her arms when the storm hit. The youngest, Renee, was forced out of her grasp. "She's real tiny, but with God's blessings they made it okay," Powers said.

She was found in nearby debris. Their brothers 12-year-old Kenny and 10-year-old Johnathan survived the storm with only cuts and bruises.

"I've talked to the two boys. They are rattled up, but they are okay." Powers is trying to clean up the yard, for the new home that will arrive later this week.

Experts do not believe a tornado is to blame, but straight-line winds.

The father, Kenneth Sauls, is expected to get a halo tomorrow. His wife, Tracey, says he's in pain, but is doing okay. They are at a hospital in Columbus.

posted at 4:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com