Families avoid injury in Saturday storm

Sep. 23, 2013 @ 08:59 PM

Southern Vance High School head football coach Lewis Young and his family are among those cleaning up after a storm damaged four homes on Brookston Road Saturday night.

Brian Short, the county’s director of emergency operations, said Monday damage included a secondary roof torn from Young’s home and more than half the roofing blew across the street.

Short said that a report his office made to state authorities will help determine what kind of storm ripped through the area about 7 p.m.

“We had some damage on Brookston Road that we believe was straight-line wind,” Short said. “That is not confirmed with the National Weather Service. We took pictures of the scene yesterday and sent them today.”

Short said power went out to a number of homes in the area, and Duke Energy Progress crews were on the scene before his people left at about 9 p.m.

The other thought, according to members of the extended Young family living in three of the four homes sustaining some damage, was a tornado came through.

A piece of roofing from the rear portion of Young’s home, with a satellite dish still attached, struck and damaged the porch of the home across the street.

“It put down a power line pole and a tree over there,” said Walter Young, indicating a beginning point for the storm incident 200 feet down Brookston from his home.

“It damaged my storage shed and these two homes, then we heard what sounded like an explosion,” he added. “That was the roof coming off my son’s house. Part of the roof ended up hitting the fourth house, my mother’s. It broke her porch.”

Walter Young said he was thinking tornado when he heard the wailing of the storm, sounding like a train, then saw the damage and the aftermath that included sparking power lines going down.

“We thought it was a tornado,” he said. “It was turning.”

Lewis Young said he, his wife Barbara and Lewis Jr., age 6, felt the house shake and rise from its foundation as the strong wind and pounding rain kept getting louder.

“We felt the whole house lifting up,” he said. “We dove to the floor in the hallway. I tried to cover him up, protecting him on the floor.”

Emergency crews confirmed that although shaken, the three checked out as uninjured.

“Luckily everyone was OK,” Lewis Young said. “You just lean and depend on God in a situation like that. That is all you can do. Right now, we’re just looking for a place to stay.”

He added as a break from dealing with what happened, a first thought for him and his family on Monday was getting out to practice with the football team.

“I love them, they are like my extended family,” he said. “I wanted to tell them exactly what happened.”

Shaken nerves are giving way to the realization that the damage from the storm will be more than an inconvenience.

The American Red Cross provided a hotel room for the family Saturday and Sunday nights, and they might bunk with Young family relatives temporarily.

The first home and Walter Young’s home sustained some shingle damage before the Lewis Young home lost its roof.

A portion of a tree in the front yard of the property across the street also went down near where roof pieces and other debris landed.

According to Walter Young, crews with Duke Energy Progress were on the scene quickly. Power to his other homes came back on by about 1 a.m.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.