Rocky Mount Telegram from Rocky Mount, North Carolina on November 28, 1988 · 7
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Rocky Mount Telegram from Rocky Mount, North Carolina · 7

Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Monday, November 28, 1988
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Rocky Mount, N.C., Telegram ; 7 it,' .-'. ., j.1 X 'X' V . "-Vs. SHATTERED Shattered glass and pieces of wood spread over the scene of the tornado. RALEIGH (AP) Tornadoes destroyed mobile homes, damaged apartment buildings and ripped through a department store in Eastern North Carolina early today, leaving at least seven people dead and over 100 injured, authorities said. "The injury list is probably in " the" four-dozen plus area," War- I - 1 1 1 ... i . im -" TV POULTRY HOUSES FLATTENED Tommy Bartholomew, who lost three poultry Chickens that escaped collapsing poultry houses in the tornado, houses in Ita this morning eat grain scattered in the wreckage. The chickens are owned by Self-made businessman, Danny The rich and the poor can ride in any one of Danny Vick's limousines. "I have no minimum," Vick said. A self-made businessman, Vick returned home to Wilson six months ago after years of success in New York City to open his limousine service in Wilson and a branch at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport. "I ran away from home when I was 14 years old," Vick said. "I wanted to make it big in my home town." Being the youngest of 10 children may have compelled Vick to start the journey down the uncertain road of entrepreneurship early in his life. Leaving the mule at the end of the field, he immediately entered the world of an independent, self-supporting businessmen as a dishwasher. Vick entered the Army at the age of 22 and served for three years before being discharged. No independent business offer was in sight, but he did meet a young lady named Ivy, and within six months, the two were married. Ivy's home was in Washington, D.C., and the two returned there. Vick earned a living in the nation's capital working as the "right-hand man" to a Washington socialite. For three years Vick remained in the socialite's employ until he died. Vick was remembered by his employer. He left Vick hi3 1976 limousine. His employer's rememberence was the break Vick had been waiting J V is r 7is house near Aventon v v w lick said. "At least ten are probably serious." In Raleigh, four three-story apartment buildings in the Cooper's Pond apartment complex were flattened and numerous others suffered structural damages, said Deirdre Boiling, manager of the complex. No one in those buildings was E By JOSEPH for. Leaving his wife and eight children behind at her mother's house in Washington, D.C., Vick went to earn a living for his family admist the . bright lights of New York City. Driving people around New York in a limo brought Vick $600 to $1,000 a week, which he sent home to Ivy. The Big Apple wasn't an easy place to make a living for the limo-sine chauffeur. Hustling fares is against the law in New York. To outwit security guards, Vick always wore a suit and bow tie so that he looked like a regular chauffeur. "And I always had a piece of paper with a phony name on it that I stood and held in the terminal," Vick said. "If somebody came up and asked me about it, I would tell them that the guy didn't show up and say 'I'm going to the city anyway and will take you for a set price that was the same as a cab's.' People said sure, because they woulti rather ride in a clean limo than in a cab." Vick's next big business break came when he met Irving Swersky, a wealthy Canadian women's clothing manfacturer. Swersky looked at the 1976 limo and asked how much Vick needed in order to get a better car. A week later Swersky loaned Vick $15,000, and Vick bought a used 1981 limo plus the necessary New 'IT .. - . V f :. ... 3 & H i I- J I. was lifted from its foundation s,d came to rest upside down on a pickup truck .i . . . t - .. . IJg. a , IIMMr .T .. m TREES Trees snapped, and halves stood splintered in the darkness. (Telegram photos by David Chicelli) seriously hurt, Boiling said. "A couple of people were rushed off to the hospital, but I don't think they were hurt very badly," she said. "We didn't lose anybody. We feel really lucky about that." Residents were given temporary lodging at nearby hotels, Boiling said. Some residents were planning to find shelters Vick rides his money-making limousines back ALLEN York City permits to make his limo legal. Within six months Vick repaid his benefactor in full. Swersky continued to help Vick. by co-signing for $150,000 in bank loans to get a full limousine service with four spanking new "stretch" limos outfitted with everything plush interiors, television sets, bars and refrigerators. One may wonder why Vick returned home to Wilson after hitting the big time in the Big Apple. "I wanted to make it big in my home," Vick said. And hit it big he has. With the help of Al Williams, manager of the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport, Vick opened a branch of his limo service in the airport and immediately captured the transportation business there. "There is a great need for a limo service in the Rocky Mount area," Vick said. Many cabs ignore the airport, Vick said. And many people arriving in the area choose to ride in a limo rather than a cab, he said. Kis limos are similar to the ones he had in New York, and women drivers are among his staff of full and part-time limousine chauffeurs. O O that were being opened at area schools. Lisa Lanier, who works and lives at the complex, said her building was untouched and that she did not realize the tornado had struck until a neighbor telephoned. "The thunder woke me up, and I "heard an extremely loud roar," Miss Lanier said. "It was like a train, like you hear people say. It was like a jet coming down too low." The roar lasted 30 to 45 seconds and then the wind died down. "I went back to bed because I didn't know what had happened," she said. "If I ever hear that noise again, I'll dive for the bathtub." Sonia Jones, assistant manager of the complex, said her building alsc was spared major damage but had some minor damage, including blown-out windows. "It passed right by me," she said, "I was real lucky." Charlene Frye, of Burlington, negotiated with police officers to gain entry to the apartment complex. She said her 17-year-old daughter was a resident and had called her after the tornado hit and she drove from Burlington to Raleigh. "She called and said 'Momma, we've had a tornado. Can you come down," Frye said. "She said 'We're not hurt, we're just scared.'" Officer B.R. Baucon with the Wake County sheriff's depart ment said aboug 300 ofheers XT' '.V THE RICH AND THE POOR motto is "The Rich and tha Vick's Limo." The self-made Vick is lo. kiiig forward to a forthcoming visit by Don King to help promote his business. Vick's memory books are filled with aulo- Monday, i'i HOMES Homes lay in This wreckage was a house JtTJ V mato were checking the area for damage. Freddy Leonard, mayor and fire chief of the Nash County town of Castalia, said he had received a report of a pickup truck lodged in a tree. "It's terrible, and there's an extensive amount of damage," Leonard said. "I'm fearful that we may still find further (dam-" age) once it gets daylight." In neighboring Franklin County, about 25 people were injured, said Sheriff Arthur E. Johnson. "We've had churches that have been demolished, some trailers and some homes," said Johnson, who added that Red Cross personnel were on their way to the county. The tornadoes and storms appeared to hit hardest in parts of Wake, Nash and Franklin counties, and power outages were rampant. In north Raleigh, a K Mart department store was flattened, and one person was trapped inside, according to Sgt. J.D. Everett of the Raleigh Police Department. The man inside the store later was freed, but he suffered a broken leg, said Robert Whit-tington, an assistant Raleigh fire chief. At least two other people were injured near the store, Everett said, adding that he did not know the extent of their injuries. Bricks, cinder blocks and twisted steel girders lay in a heap with racks of clothing and other merchandise. The shop fii-f i. 1 U' i ' f Danny Vick's Poor Can Rida Nsw York City gi aphed photographs of the celebrities and personalities he has grown to know through his limo business. And perhaps one day, in some November 28, 1933 7 - 7 4 I shambles from the devastation. in Castalia. sttrikes ping center parking lot was filled with police, sheriff's vehicles, fire trucks and rescue vehicles. Everett and other officers hastily dispatched many of them to surrounding neighborhoods and other shopping center to look for people in need of help and to prevent looting.. ...... "It appears that we've got extensive damage all over the area," Everett said. "We do have some extensive injuries, but I can't tell you how many, or who, or where." At least two shelters had been opened for people whose homes were damaged, one at an elementary school and another at a city park in North Raleigh, Everett said. "There would appear to be several tornadoes that occurred," said Joe Pelissier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Pelissier said at about 3:30 a.m. that the severe weather had moved east of the Triangle Area and passed through Nash and Franklin counties. "It now appears to be over the northern coastal and Albemarle areas," he said. Tom Ditt with the state Divi-son of Emergency Management said the storm system that pro-, duced the tornadoes appeared to have exited North Carolina and entered eastern Virginia by about 4:15 a.m., but a tornado watch was in effect until 6 a.m. for most of northeastern North Carolina. home in style businessman recently returned hem a to Wilson to make big in his home town. (Telegram photo by David Chicelli) one's memory book, an autographed photo of Danny Vick will be found among those who have .made it big in the world and in U'lir home town.

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