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New Sight, Loyd Star residents feel most of storm’s fury

Although some minor property damaged was sustained, LincolnCounty residents were relieved that no injuries occurred during astorm system that swept through the northern portion of the countyFriday afternoon.

While hail stones as big as baseballs fell in some communities,it was primarily the storm’s straight-line winds, which reachedspeeds of 90 miles per hour, that accounted for the damage,authorities believe. Trees toppled over onto power lines andstructures, and portions of roofs and shingles were blown away inthe New Sight community as the storm passed.

Virginia Allen, 71, had her home’s back patio ripped from thehouse and distributed across the front yard. She emerged afterwardto find one of the patio’s posts had lodged upright in herroof.

“It just started to hail and the wind picked up right at onetime, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, there goes that patio top again,'”she said.

Allen used her telephone to call her sons, who arrived within 30minutes to remove the post and begin repairing the roof.

Allen’s neighbor, 83-year-old Shelton Williams, also sustainedsome minor shingle and sideboard damage to the roof of his home.Winds caused the most obvious damage, though he suspected that hailmay have also damaged the roof.

“Hail was beating down on the house, and it sounded just likesomebody was up there with ball peen hammers,” Williams said.

Williams said the hail caused so much noise that he did not hearthe snapping of several trees that went down on his property, oneof which, a massive pine tree, fell across his shed and onto hisold work truck. Even as he examined the damage to and around hishome, Williams’ spirits were undampened.

“The roof is pretty old – we may have to put a new roof on it,but we can do that,” Williams said with a laugh. “It’s just gonnatake a lot of work to get it all cleaned up.”

A large portion of the roof of Faith Creations Salon on ForestTrail was removed by the storm.

Katina Burns, 33, the salon’s owner, said she and her employeesfirst prayed and then continued working as the storm passed over.There is no safe place to take cover inside a mobile home, so Burnsdidn’t bother trying.

“It sounded like we were off in a drum, like someone was beatinga big drum and it was going to bust on through,” she said of thenoise caused by hail and winds. “We were real grateful – you canget another building, but you can’t get another life.”

Rosetta Brown had a tree deposited firmly and directly acrossher driveway on New Sight Drive, blocking access in or out. Shesaid she didn’t see much of the storm because her family was tryingto stay safe inside their home.

“All I know is that it was a lot of wind, and a lot of hail,”she said.

Wayne Ashmore, 67, escaped the storm without any damage to hishome. He spent the afternoon riding along New Sight Drive andchecking on his neighbors.

“I’m just making sure everyone is OK,” he said. “I was justconcerned for our community and our people – we’re pretty close outhere, and we take care of each other. I’m just glad it wasn’t anyworse. Other than some trees and limbs down, it’s just a bunch ofmess.”

In the Loyd Star area, the home of Gene and Margaret Brittremained safe as the Britts watched the 90-mile-an-hour winds tearthree oak trees that had grown together in their yard from theground. Other smaller trees scattered throughout the yard wereuntouched.

“You couldn’t see anything in front of you, and then the treesjust started to fall,” said Kyle Britt, their son. “Those treeshave been there for over 100 years, probably.”

Margaret Britt said she had been able to pull the cars undertheir carport when the hail started, but that was all thepreparation the family was able to do before the weather becameserious.

“Suddenly I looked out the back door and you couldn’t seeanything. We saw the wind kick up, and the tree was gone,” shesaid. “It came just like that and left just like that. I’ve heardyou don’t have a chance to prepare, and we didn’t.”