The Magee Courier from Magee, Mississippi on December 1, 1994 · Page 1
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The Magee Courier from Magee, Mississippi · Page 1

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Magee, Mississippi
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Thursday, December 1, 1994
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Page 1
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There's No Place Like Home. Tornado Damage See Lifestyles Page IB Peoples Bank Growing with Simpson County since 1908 Magee - Mendcnhall - Sanatorium MEMBER FDIC CHEVROLET - OLDS INC. BUUCHltl WILLIAMS CWtemr.l DEALER UHmoa" 849-3336 429 JACKSON DR. N.W. (OLD HWY. 49 N.) MAGEE. MS HieM Volume 95, No. 36 Thursday, December 1, 1994 Magee, Mississippi 39111 Williams agee 1 1 n SCK -(35) Two f - i. , - - . - s . "V .... . .4? to -J I V . V 1 J T This is Estella Snell's mobile home in Goodwater Quarters in TWO KtllCU HCTC Magee where she and her young son were killed during the tornado Sunday night. The trailer was crushed by a large oak tree. Victims recall storm happenings Most of the day this past Sunday, the weather was warm, the sky was filled with fast moving clouds, and it was very breezy. Comments could be heard from residents around the county about how it looked like the area could get some bad weather. Boy were they ever right. It wasn't long after the National Weather Service put Simpson County under a severe thunderstorm warning just before 10:00 p.m. that mother nature put her force into action. Within minutes after that warning was issued, radar indicated a possible tornado two miles east of Mendenhall moving across the county and the first tornado warning was All For Education BRIEFLY i hi win wmi i in ! inniMii ill iiiin-irHTimnr7niT-wi jJ3 Ronald McDonald One of the best known clowns in the world, Ronald McDonald, is coming to the Magee Christmas Parade to lead the band. The parade, featuring actors Robert Stephens and Denver Pyle, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, and other attractions, is scheduled to get underway at Thurs., Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. The main route will be down Main Street M'Hall Lighting An old fashioned Christmas lighting will be held in Mendenhall following the parade Wed., Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. Lights will be strung from the tops of all downtown buildings. Blood Screens Simpson General Hospital offers cholesterol and glucose (blood sugar) screenings every Tuesday from 8 to 5 p.m. The screenings are done in the lab behind the main hospital for a fee of $6. CHANGING die in Stmdlay .-wlr.,iiJN. issued. ---- Byrhis--timer most of -the -county was feeling the fury of the severe thunderstorm as high winds, heavy rain, and intense lightening pounded the earth. The storm grew in intensity and peaked in the Magee area with tornado winds twisting and uprooting trees as if they were pinestraw. "I had already gone to bed," explained Paul Purser who lives on highway 541 in a badly hit area. "I had been sick and my wife and I had our little grand daughter staying with us and she was in bed in the room she always stays in. I heard my wife yell 'Get up.' so I jumped up and immediately ran to my grand daughter. I grabbed her up and started back down the hall but I A lot of talent and enthusiasm came through November 13-19 when students in Magee Middle School classes participated in the National Education Week Theme Contest. Some of the students and their advisors are shown here with a few of the larger posters. AND GROWING TO MEET MAGEE'S DEMANDING SPIRIT. WHEN RESULTS MATTER, CALL US jr . " " "" -w-H" realized it sounded worse the direction I was going than where-we were so I stayed put." "Within seconds it was over and in the bedroom where I had been just seconds earlier, most of the ceiling was on the bed," continued Purser. " I never heard the roar that people talk about, just stuff hitting the house. It felt like somebody took the house and shook it. We are thankful for our safety, these houses can be rebuilt." On the same street, Ricky Anderson was sharing a similar experience. "I recognized the sounds having heard them before in another incidence," Anderson explained. "I have a tree in my bedroom and most of (See Victims Page 7A) D'Lo Parade D'Lo Christmas participants should come to D'Lo Water Park entrance from old Highway 49 from Mendenhall. Line-up will begin at 2:30. radeMississippi Agriculture Commissioner Jim Buck Ross will be the Grand Marshal for the D'Lo Christmas Parade Sat., Dec. 3, at 3;30. A Christmas Tree lighting will follow. Lupus Chapter The Mississippi Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America meets Sat., Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. in the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center auditorium, 1225 North State St., Jackson. Donald S. Jones, M.Ed., will discuss "Social Security Disability." Admission is free and visitors are welcome. For more information, call 3266-5655. Cancer Dance The Simpson County chapter of the American Cancer Society is selling tickets for its annual fundraiser New Tear's Eve dance, to be held at the National Guard Armory. Tickets are $25 each of $50 per A tornado, accompanied by high winds and driving rain, slashed through a portion of Magee Sunday night shortly after 10 p.m., killing a mother and her young son as they slept in their mobile home. The twister damaged houses, blew down utility poles, and snapped trees like matchsticks. Killed when their mobile home was crushed by a falling oak tree in the Goodwater section near Magee Elementary School were Estella Snell, 38, and her son, B.J.,age 2. Members of the Magee Fire Department, assisted by the Braxton Fire Department, worked for several hours to free their bodies. The storm was officially confirmed as a tornado Monday by the National Weather Service, according to Magee Police Officer Danny Hodge, who went along when the NWS came down to investigate, following V Estella Snell and B J. Snell Utility lines damaged A spokesman for Mississippi Power and Light said pole and utility line damage in Magee from the storm Sunday night was the worst in this area in at least five years. Junior Johnson, MP&L area line supervisor, said power outages affected as many as a thousand homes Sunday night during and after the storm till daylight Monday morning. Some 150 homes, he said, were without power until about 8 p.m. Monday night. Johnson said as many as ten poles were completely down and tornado the path of the twister from the air. The weather service, Hodge said, indicated that the tornado appeared to have made ground contact in two places, first coming down at the intersection of airport road and Highway 49, behind the Mississippi Power and Light substations, along Goodwater Road, down over the homes of Marion Holbrook, Junior Duckworth and Boochie Williams along old 49, between 11th avenue and Kennedy Cleaners, 9th Avenue Northwest, across Magnolia Avenue and the Kennedy Drive area to Frances Avenue across from the cemetery. From that point, damage indicates the storm turned east, across Goodwater Quarters, where the two fatalities occurred, then obviously lifted and continued on out through the Dry Creek community. All along the route, trees an estimated 2 miles of wire was on the ground. He said the company lost three circuits for a while, as well as the main breaker that feeds all the circuits. He said the Magee station feeds lines through from Star to Mt. Olive and Raleigh to Silver Creek, and some of those were affected as well. Johnson said they worked a crew of 17 for some 22 hours without stopping. No dollar estimate of the storm damage was available, as of Tuesday afternoon. r i couple. For more information, call Jean, Shelley or Nancy at the Magee Courier, 849-3434, or Debra Cockrell at Magee General Hospital, 849-5070. Ponder in Concert The First Baptist Church of Mendenhall is presenting a concert featuing Max Ponder on piano and organ Thurs., Dec L at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served in Jones Hall immediately following the program. Ponder is music director of the church, as well as director of the Raleigh High School band. Santa Breakfast The Simpson county YMCA will have its annual Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 10. the breakfast will take place in the clubhouse at 9:00 a.m. tickets are on sale at the YMCA $2.00 in advance or $3.00 at the door. Activities include breakfast, program, prizes, and of course Santa. Call for more information at 849-5759. were blown down, snapped or splintered, and roofs and walls of houses were ripped apart by wind and falling trees. Power, cable and phone lines were in tangles and numerous vehicles were crushed beneath carports. The police department estimated Tuesday that anywhere from 40 to 50 homes in the area suffered some degree of damage, much of it severe. The worst destruction was in the Frances Avenue section near the cemetery. Highway 541, which runs adjacent to that subdivison, became so conjested with traffic by the end of the day as news of the storm damage spread that police found it necessary to block off a portion of the road for several hours. Utility and clean-up crews found it difficult to get in and out to make repairs. (See Tornado Page 7A) Community shocked by deaths The friends and relatives of Estella Snell and her little boy were in shock Monday morning. " They couldn't believe she had been killed in the storm the night before, in her own trailer, in her own bedroom. "I heard it, but I didn't think I was hearing right," a neighbor said. Not Estella, not little B J." It's a close community over in Goodwater Quarters. Everybody knows everybody. They've grown up together. They visit on each other's porches, in each (See Community Page 7A) Royals says thanks Magee Police Chief Tom Royals says his department was, to put it mildly, "swamped" by the middle of the day Monday, following the drama of the storm and its aftermath Sunday night. He asked this newspaper to please thank everyone who helped them out, as well as apologize for any rudeness or impatience on behalf of anyone connected with the police department. "We were all bushed and overloaded," Royals explained. Handling traffic, coordinating the coming and going of utility crews, trying to man the phones and answer everybody's questions, Royals said, was a load. He said he hoped everyone would understand. It just wasn't a typical day. . . . 849-3434.

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