The Jackson Sun from Jackson, Tennessee on November 11, 2002 · 8
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The Jackson Sun from Jackson, Tennessee · 8

Jackson, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Monday, November 11, 2002
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8ATh Jackson Sun Monday, November 11,2002 Victim's family also injured in storms CARROLL COUHTY JV Several houses were demolished Heniy Allen Henry and Bernice Allen have lived just off Old Stage Road in Cedar Grove for 18 years and haven't had to deal with too much bad weather other than a fairly tough hail storm a few years ago. On Sunday, they counted their blessings after a tornado cut a swath through their tucked-away neighborhood Saturday night, killed one woman, injured three others and uprooted a couple of large oak trees in the Allen's yard. Thev were fortunate their backyard tree fell away from their house. Otherwise, it would have greeted them in their bedroom. "I was just talking to the Man upstairs," Henry said. "It was already roaring and all. We got my mother-in-law (Lucy Surratte). She's 86, and we put her in the ; hall." The Aliens said they watched television reports of the tornadic weather, then went to bed at about 10:15 p.m. They said they heard the tornado arrive about 11:30 p.m. "It sounded like a freight train," Bernice said. "He said, 'The Lord is going to take care of us.' I was scared to death." "That's when I hit the floor," Surratte said. You should have seen Allen's brother's place next door. Willie B. Allen An uprooted oak tree lay across the top of one shed. Another smaller shed rested three feet away from the blocks that supported it. Yet another shed, about 20 feet long, blew away and took a short trailer with it. The ceiling to the screened-in porch? Gone, just like the top of the water well. "I kept listening to all the reports all night," Willie B. Allen said. "We went into the bedroom and laid down. Then all of a sudden, she rose up and said, 'My God, it's got us.'" Allen, 67, his wife Judy, 58, of Old Stage Road in Cedar Grove shook their heads and somewhat laughed off the damage left behind by a tornado that punched through their neighborhood Saturday night. "It's bad," Willie said, "but it could have been a lot worse." "We had been watching TV, and they were saying tornado watches," Judy said. "We didn't think anything of watches." They spoke as friends helped them clean up their yard and that of their neighbors to the south, Allen's brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Bernice Allen. Willie is scheduled to have liver cancer surgery on Tuesday in Nashville. "I guess we're going to have to call down there and schedule it another time, maybe next week," Judy said. David Brawner Saturday night was supposed to be an enjoyable one for David and Denise Brawner, a couple in the mid- to late- 30s. They had driven over from Buena Vista to spend time with David's step-father and mother, Dannie and Betty Johnson, and to visit David's sister, Angie Brooks, from Arkansas. Across from the Johnson's home off Old Stage Road on Sunday in Cedar Grove, three trailers were in bits and pieces after a tornado ripped through the neighborhood. One neighbor was killed. Denise took one look at the damage and said, "We were here visiting his mother and sister from Arkansas." She then paused, sighed and offered, "Geez." "We were sitting at the table playing cards, and everybody else was in the back room," David said. "We had the radio on, and they said there had been a tornado in Cedar Grove. I said we were in the clear." "It was raining," Denise said. "But no sooner than I got that out of my mouth," David said, "that's when it hit." They said everyone inside the house was OK. The Johnson's property actually sustained little damage. The Brawners were one of the first couples in the area who made phone calls for emergency workers. Kary Booker, 425-9637 - m-1 i -rrw M -s tr s,:. m i- mm &jgr wy umt "If"- i C- fit o o SSs22; ' HELEN COMERThe Jackson Sun . Robert Barger looks over his mother's damaged house, moved by high winds onto Tenn. 104 west Saturday night. His wife Betty looks for lost items. Cedar Grove mourns death Emergency teams quick on the scene By CHUCK ROSS CEDAR GROVE Carroll County is no stranger to severe weather, but residents of the county experienced another bitter dose at the hands of Mother Nature late Saturday. Approximately 11:30 p.m., what is believed to have been a tornado ripped through the Cedar Grove Terry community, killing Annette Forsythe, about 65, as she sat in her mobile home on Old Stage Road, about six miles southwest of Huntingdon. Forsythe lived in a double-wide mobile home with three of her children: Ricky, 48; Darlene, 44; and Neal, 42. All three were injured in the storm, and taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital Huntingdon for treatment. Ricky and Darlene were treated and released, but Neal was taken to Jackson Madison County General Hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The nature of his injuries is unknown. Annette Forsythe was pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital. A third son, Barry, lives in a home about 100 feet from his mother. His home sustained significant roof damage and all windows were blown out. Barry was at his place of work about a mile from the homes and was not injured. Carroll County Sheriff Bendell Bartholomew said seven people were injured near the site where Forsythe perished. Other than Forsythe's family members, the sheriff did not know the names of others injured. Baptist Hospital confirmed that seven patients were treated, including Neal Forsythe who was transferred to Jackson. Geneva Crawford of Jackson was a sister-in-law of Forsythe. She came to Cedar Grove to check on other members of the family. "We got the news she was killed and we're trying to find the rest of the family," Crawford said. A few minutes and several miles earlier, the storm ripped apart another neighborhood, this one on Tennessee 104, about three miles west of U.S. 70, also in Cedar Grove. The apparent -IW 1 ' 1 HELEN COMERThe Jackson Sun Lorey Scruggs, right, hugs Helen Barger after seeing her for the first time after Saturday night's storm. Site off storm-related fatality and tornado PVV CARROII jj yVfatertovera. ! I , ylew 18 Rill . 1 1 Xf( I ! twister cut a swath about 300 yards wide through what appeared to be nearly one-half mile of this rural neighborhood. Several houses were demolished. One house on the north side of Tennessee 104 was literally leveled, with only a small section of one room left standing on the northeast corner of the house, That is where a family of four rode out the storm, and the only room that was not disintegrated by the force of the storm. That family was not seriously injured, but their four vehicles were totaled. Amy Doyle of Jackson said her mother and father lived in the At a glance Here are highlights of what happened Saturday when a tornado hit in Carroll County: Approximately 11:30 p.m., what is believed to have been a tornado ripped through the Cedar Grove - Terry community, killing Annette Forsythe, about 65, as she sat in her mobile home on Old Stage Road, about six miles southwest of Huntingdon. A few minutes and several miles earlier, the storm ripped apart another neighborhood, this one on Tennessee 104, about three miles west of U.S. 70, also in Cedar Grove. The apparent twister cut a swath about 300 yards wide through what appeared to be nearly one-half mile of this rural neighborhood. damaged area, as does her grandmother, Helen Barger, 77. The Doyles were away on a trip and were not home when the storm uprooted virtually every large tree in their yard, while ripping out a section of their roof. Barger was not so lucky. Amy Doyle said her grandmother received only superficial injuries. She was taken to Milan Hospital's emergency room where she was treated and released. "Grandmother was in the house when the storm hit. She rode it (in the house) to the middle of the road, hiding under her heavy oak dining room table. She incurred only slight bruises and abrasions," Amy Doyle said. A bulldozer shoved what was left of Barger's By CHUCK ROSS CEDAR GROVE Emergency personnel and law enforcement officials in Carroll County got a real workout of their facilities and ability on Saturday evening. Most people believe the storm struck central Carroll County about 11:30 p.m. Many people say their lives were changed in one way or another at that time, as were the lives of the emergency personnel who attended to their needs after the storm. Carroll County Sheriff and Huntingdon Police Department patrol vehicles moved frantically through the county trying to track down calls for assistance. According to dispatch records at the sheriffs office, the first call for assistance came in at 11:37, just minutes after the storm hit the first section of the county. Units were immediately dispatched to begin emergency operations. Carroll County Sheriff Bendell Bartholomew said he had deputies working all night and all day on Sunday, providing assistance and controlling access to the areas impacted by the storm. Less than one hour after Site of tornado I w CARROLL 1 receiving that first call, at 12:32 a.m., Baptist Memorial Hospital Huntingdon received its first victim of the storm. The hospital received eight victims within the next two hours. One victim was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. Seven other persons were treated for injuries. Six of the seven were treated and released. Mike Williams, a foreman with Carroll County Electric, said the electric company had crews out within 30 minutes of being notified. They have restored power to customers cutoff by the storm, repaired damaged poles and lines. Williams said they will continue to work around the clock until all customers needs are met. Chuck Ross, 450-0055 home out of the middle of the highway. Interviewed at the scene, Barger said she feels like the luckiest person on earth, despite losing her home and virtually all her possessions. "When I heard the storm coming, I went under the table and hugged that heavy table support. That's all that saved me," Barger said. "I walked out of there barefooted and never got a scratch on my feet." "Somebody found my false teeth in the rubble. I found my blood pressure medicine and billfold under the table with me," Barger continued. "If people don't believe in the Lord, they better get with it." Carroll County Executive Kenny McBride checked the damage on Tennessee 104, after having surveyed the entire area from the air earlier in the morning. "The damage on Old Stage Road appeared to be more from straight-line winds. Chuck Ross, 450-0055 Voices 11 "We heard it roaring, so I got the kids and put them in the bathtub. In five minutes, it was gone." Mike Avery, 34, of Leach V "He just woke us up and said, 'CmonItjust passed over WJ t8B US. Kristy Avery, 16, of Leach, talking about her father Mike ft "After it was over, I went to see if I could help somebody and see if the road was clear ... We went to bed, and then we heard it. I told the kids to get in the middle of the room." Howard Allen, 47, of Cedar Grove "We're just out driving around. It looks pretty rough. We've just stopped over m Huntingdon. My uncle told me a tornado hit, so we drove down here." William McDanlel, 36, Bruceton "It's a disaster. I didn't think a tornado could do all this." T.J. Hall, 24, Huntingdon "I came down here and will do whatever they want me to do. As soon as they said Old Stage Road, I started to cry because there are (Faith in Christ) church members here." Lisa Williams, 38, Huntingdon

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