Victim: ‘We’ll take it one day at a time’

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Standing amid the rubble of their damaged or destroyed homes,victims of Sunday night’s tornado expressed thanks to be alive andrelayed stories of how they avoided the storm.

“The Lord was protecting us,” said Janet Mills, who left justbefore the tornado leveled her and her husband Jeremy’s mobile homeon Jackson-Liberty Road.

Mills said some clothes were able to be saved, but everythingelse was lost. The Mills’ mobile home was one of several destroyedby the tornado.

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While several park residents left before the tornado hit, Kennyand Patricia Case did not. They were in their hallway as thetornado lifted their home above power lines and deposited thedemolished trailer on the other side of the road.

“We just tumbled and rolled until it stopped,” Patricia Casesaid.

Patricia sustained a cut on her right arm and bruises on severalparts of her body.

“It was a terrible experience, one that I never want to gothrough again,” she said.

Like their neighbors, the Cases were able to save some clothes,but the rest was lost.

“I don’t know where we go from here, but we’ll take it one dayat a time,” Kenny Case said.

Elsewhere on Jackson-Liberty Road, Tony Cade talked about thestorm as a large uprooted tree rested on one end of his mobilehome. Cade had gone to a neighbor’s home just before the tornadopassed through.

“It was rough,” Cade said. “I’ve never in my life seensuch.”

Cade also commented on how quickly the tornado moved.

“Four minutes, I think, is giving it a little bit,” Cadesaid.

A common sight Monday was residents replacing blown offroofs.

At Bradley and Donna Calcote’s home on Bouie Mill Road, anotherarea that sustained heavy damage, Bradley and family members workedon the roof while Donna collected canned goods and other items inthe kitchen. Their home was knocked off its foundation.

“I just hope they can fix it,” Donna said.

On Falvey Road, which intersects Jackson-Liberty Road, NormaJean Buckley Hoover was helping her son Tony, of LaPlace, La.,clean up after the tornado tore through his “getaway” home.

“I grew up here, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” saidMrs. Hoover.

Tony said he would start over with the home. Bringing to mindother current events, Tony said the home looked like it had beenhit by the Third Infantry.

“It was messed up worse than Iraq,” Hoover said.

Sunday’s storm resulted in only six injuries and those were notserious, civil defense officials said. The path of tornado wasapproximately 17 miles long and about five miles wide.

Like others Monday, Tony Hoover said that while Sunday’s stormwas bad, it could have been much worse had it taken a slightlydifferent path.

“If it moved over just a little bit, it would have been a lotmore serious than it was,” he said.