Families begin to regroup after storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Families begin to regroup after storm

February 14, 2007

Pelham--  The Pelham community really pulled together today to help out the families in the damaged neighborhood start cleaning up in the aftermath of Tuesday's storm.

What struck this quiet Pelham neighborhood seemed to come from nowhere.   "It was just like a big rush of rain just flooding through and then all heck just started tearing loose," said Randall Humphries, who lives in the neighborhood.

Witnesses say the path it left looks like a tornado, but that hasn't been confirmed. The National Weather Service right now says it was straight line winds from a severe thunderstorm.  "The whole thing lasted probably six seconds.  Quick as it come, it was gone," Humphries said. 

When it was gone, destruction and devastation were left behind.  Like most of the neighborhood, James Willis was fortunate enough not to be at home when it happened.  "My neighbor called me and was like hey you need to come get your roof out of my front yard and I was like, 'Are you being serious?'  And, we turned down the curve down there and I seen it. It blew my mind away," said Willis.

Pieces of the roof that was torn off his home are now scattered around the neighborhood. There's extensive water damage inside the home from all the rain.

On a street nearby, fourteen-year-old Bree Baggett came home to the house she's lived in her whole life.  She found the ceiling caving in.   "It made me want to cry," Baggett said.

The victims say people in the community are being extremely supportive.  Trucking companies sent out trailers to move their things into, and neighbors say people are coming out of the woodwork to help out.

Despite everything lost, most people are in good spirits.  "We managed to save most of it. I think its all ok except our bathroom," said Baggett.

"As long as my boy and my wife's ok. . . that stuff can be fixed," said Willis.  Most people are now just waiting to hear from insurance companies to see how bad the damage is, and how long it will take to return to the lives they once knew.

Pelham police say they've had no injury reports.

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