Meridian Star

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April 12, 2013

Storm damage assessments continue in Miss.


SHUQUALAK, Miss. — Trees crashed into the back of her one-story brick home, breaking windows and knocking out a back door. The bathroom where they took shelter was not damaged.

Several large trees were knocked down in front and back of her house and power lines snaked across her yard.

Coleman said she would have to stay in a hotel or some other place with electricity so she could have her dialysis treatment.

Cindy Moore, 56, was at her parents' house while her sister and niece were in a small apartment nearby when she looked up and saw debris flying through the air. She huddled with her parents in a center room of their house until the storm passed.

When she looked out the window, Moore said she saw that the concrete block building where her sister and niece were was flattened. Part of the roof hung in trees across the street and their belongings — clothes and furniture — were scattered through the yard and settled among tree limbs and other debris.

She worried that her sister and niece had been killed.

"I went running over there and I saw my niece's head pop up. She was standing up. I couldn't believe they were alive," Moore said. "It was God's hands. That's all it was. God's hands wrapped around them."

Both women were taken to the hospital and treated for cuts and bruises, but suffered no life-threatening injuries.

Charlie Higginbotham, 90, Moore's father, walked slowly around the destroyed structure, with his hands clasped behind his back as his children and grandchildren sifted through the debris trying to salvage anything they could.

The family got especially excited at one point when they found a family member's baby book.

"I don't know how they got out of there without getting hurt worse, but somehow they did," Higginbotham said.

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