Residents of a Phenix City mobile home park are picking up the pieces after severe thunderstorms Friday toppled trees and damaged homes and vehicles in the area.
Property managers at Country Cottages mobile home park on Sandfort Road near Woodland Drive said about 20 of their 72 homes sustained damage. Two men were hurt, but residents said they had only minor injuries.
“Thank God there were no fatalities,” said Betty Jo Weed, one of the property managers. “God’s good to us.”
On Saturday, residents and managers pitched in to help cut and remove fallen trees — including one that had toppled onto a truck.
Lisa Waters, 29, was at work when a coworker told her the storm had ripped through Country Cottages.
“The first thing I asked was, ‘Where was my baby at?’” said Waters, who lives in the park with her boyfriend and 2-year-old daughter.
Waters said she raced home at 11 p.m., but public safety officials told her she could not enter the park. She was able to reunite with her family at 1 a.m., and found a hole in her roof above the bathroom. Luckily, her boyfriend and daughter were not in the bathroom when the storm passed, she said.
Waters, who stayed at a motel Friday night, said wasn’t sure what to do next.
“I need clothes,” she said today. “I haven’t been able to change clothes since work. Everything I own is in there.”
Byron Wilkes, superintendent at the park, had just finished fixing a broken water pipe outside when strong winds began blowing.
As he gathered his tools and the winds strengthened, Wilkes decided to seek shelter in a small brick shed, formerly a water pumping station. As soon as he shut the door, he said, the roof flew off. He then squeezed his body under an old water tank, about a foot off the ground.
“What was going through my mind? Get under that tank,” he said. “I didn’t have a chance to be frightened until it was over. All I could think about was getting under that tank.”
Resident Michael Lacount, who had been helping Wilkes, ran into his trailer.
“The whole trailer was rocking back and forth,” he said. “It was scary, more than anything, because we didn’t know what was coming.”
“A lot of people were lucky,” Lacount added. “No lives were lost.”
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