Clinch man cleans up after tornado - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Clinch man cleans up after tornado

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December 6, 2005

Clinch County - His brick garage is flattened, his barn, mangled metal, and parts of his roof have disappeared. "It made me sick when I went outside," said Stalvey. "I was amazed at what I saw."

James Stalvey says it was barely even raining Monday afternoon when out of nowhere, he heard a loud roar and felt his home shaking. "I realized right quick it must be a tornado," said Stalvey.

A twister tore through his yard and into his field, leaving a long path of destruction. "You see it on television all the time somewhere else and you think that's awful, but when it happens right here at home, its a funny feeling," said Stalvey.

The storm toppled two huge pecan trees outside Stalvey's home, one even landed on the house. But luckily, the area where he was hiding from the storm wasn't touched. "I went and got down in the hallway and I thank God I'm still alive today," said Stalvey.

Now starts the long process of repairing and rebuilding. "First thing we got to do is start on the roof," said Stalvey.

But despite all this damage, he considers himself lucky, because his house will soon be whole again, and he and his family are safe.

The tornado also damaged a blueberry harvesting business near Dupont.  A tangled pile of metal scraps is all that's left of the packing shed at Ben-Wood Harvest.

The storm picked up the metal building, tossed it several yards, and left it in this tangled pile.

Owner Allen Bennett estimates it caused about $80,000 worth of damage, but he's just glad no one was at the shed when the storm hit.

"My first concern was to make sure no one was hurt, next I thought about just how devastating it actually was, it was unbelievable the power that came through here," said Alan Bennett.

The Bennetts are in their off-season right now, but hope to have the shed rebuilt in time for spring harvest.

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