Saturday, April 16, Eyewitness News at 11

10:44 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M BOFTA YIMAM.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

GEORGIA POWER SAYS 300 CUSTOMERS STILL DON'T HAVE POWER... AND MAY BE IN THE DARK UNTIL TOMORROW NIGHT.
THEY SAY THE STORM TORE DOWN POWER LINES.
Pause for nats=3 SEC
(sound of chainsaw)
CREWS SPENT THE DAY WORKING TO GET RID OF THE FALLEN TREES.
OFFICIALS SAY THE STORM HIT SOME OF THE COUNTY'S NORTHERN PARTS THE HARDEST.
DOZENS OF TREES DAMAGED HOMES IN NEIGHBORHOODS ALONG FOREST HILL ROAD.
SOME TREE TRUNKS SNAPPED IN HALF---DEBRIS AND LIMBS ALSO BLOCKED SEVERAL ROADS.
FALLEN TREES SPLIT THIS NORMANY ROAD HOME NEARLY IN TWO... NEIGHBOR WILLIE BYRD DESCRIBES THE SCENE--
Willie Byrd, Bibb County: "We first jumped up, that's when the first tree hit the house, so we got up and ran downstairs and another limb it fell through the house, by the time we got to the bottom of the step another piece of the tree broke off and went through the front door"
GEORGIA POWER SAYS THEY'RE WORKING ON RESTORING ELECTRICITY TO THE 300 HOMES WITHOUT POWER TONIGHT... BUT SAY CREWS ARE STILL CLEARING AWAY FALLEN TREES IN ORDER TO GET INTO THE NEIGHBORHOODS.
THE RED CROSS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA SAYS IT HELPED THREE FAMILIES WHO NEEDED PLACES TO STAY... AND HANDED OUT MEALS TO PEOPLE WITHOUT POWER.
DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY SERVICES LATRAVIUS SMITH... SAYS THEY MAY ALSO PROVIDE LUNCHES FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE POWER TOMORROW.
ANYONE WHO NEEDS RED CROSS HELP CAN CALL THEM AT 478-743-8671... AGAIN THAT'S 478-743-8671.

WHEN WINDS RIPPED THROUGH BIBB COUNTY'S OUSLEY (OWLS-LEE) STREET ... FOUR TEENAGE GIRLS.. INCLUDING SISTERS AND FRIENDS HAVING A SLEEPOVER... SAY THEY WOKE UP TO SOUNDS OF RATTLING... AND CRASHING.
LAUREN DISPIRITO EXPLAINS... AS THE STORM... TORE UP THEIR HOME... THE GIRLS SAY A SPECIAL FORCE---KEPT THEM SAFE.
Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County: "Get on the ground get on the ground"

FIFTEEN YEAR OLD CHEYANNE HAMILTON REMEMBERS WAKING UP TO HER SISTERS SCREAMS...

Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County" I was like there's a tree falling there's a tree falling
Hope Kearnes, Bibb County: "I was in the room with Cheyanne and she grabbed on to me"

A FALLEN FOREST.. AS HAMILTON CALLS IT.. NOW NEARLY HIDES HER OUSLEY STREET HOME.

Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County "See the strings holding up the tree, all that would have fell"

SPLINTERED WOOD... A TREE TRUNK... SCRAPS OF INSULATION... THESE ARE THE REMAINS OF THE TERROR SHE AND FRIENDS FELT HOURS BEFORE...

Nats "that's the door hinge"

BEFORE HAMILTON.. HER SISTER SIERRA.. AND TWO FRIENDS HID FROM RAGING WINDS.. HAMILTON SAYS SHE LEARNED SOMETHING SCARIER THAN THE SOUNDS JUST OUTSIDE HER WINDOW.

Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County "We didn't know what to do because we found out nobody was at home."

HAMILTON'S FATHER... HAD LEFT THE GIRLS ALONE IN THE HOME... ON HIS WAY TO WORK.. BEFORE STORMS STRUCK

Nat "trees that were back there but flew up"

THE GIRLS MADE IT THROUGH... THEY SAY TREES LANDED IN NEARLY EVERY PART OF THE HOUSE BUT THE BEDROOMS THEY HID IN.

Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County "where am I gonna live and what's gonna happen now.....

THE DAMAGE SEEMS ENDLESS... BUT ONE OF THE FEW THINGS LEFT STANDING.. A PICTURE OF HAMILTON'S MOTHER WHO PASSED AWAY WHEN SHE WAS A TODDLER MAY BE A SIGN.

Cheyanne Hamilton, Bibb County: "It's just like she was there for us when we needed her the most"

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS

THE STORM ALSO RIPPED OFF PART OF THE ROOF OF A HOTEL.. ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE.
PEICES OF TWISTED METAL... AND COLLAPSED COLUMNS... LIE IN THE DAYS INN PARKING LOT.
PARTS OF THE BUILDING LANDED JUST FEET AWAY FROM GUESTS' ROOMS... AND DEBRIS SHATTERED A CAR'S REAR WINDOW..
WINDS APPEAR TO HAVE BLOWN OUT A WINDOW IN THE HOTEL'S LOBBY.
GUEST GARY SMITH SAYS HE COULD HEAR DEBRIS AND TRASH CANS BEING BLOWN AROUND OUTSIDE... WHEN HE WOKE UP EARLY THIS MORNING.
HE SAYS THAT'S WHEN HIS DAUGHTER TOLD HIM TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW---
Gary Smith, Douglas: "It looked a funnel was right over between the parking lot, it was a real black cloud, at day break"
Lizzie Smith, Douglas: "I seen it in the window and my daddy came out and seen it"
Ashley Denmark, Douglas: "I thought a tree fell down but it wasn't a tree. It was the building."
A HOTEL WORKER SAID ABOUT 30 PEOPLE WERE STAYING THERE WHEN THE STORM HIT.
HE SAID NO ONE REPORTED BEING HURT.

A MACON FAMILY CAN STILL SEE DAMAGE FROM THIS MORNING UP CLOSE... FROM THEIR BEDROOM WINDOW.
STRONG WINDS BLEW HUGE PINE TREES ONTO THE ADAMS' FAMILY'S HOME... DIRECTLY ABOVE THE MASTER BEDROOM.
DANA ADAMS AND HER TWO KIDS WERE NOT HURT... THEY TOOK COVER IN THE BASEMENT AND DIDN'T NOTICE THE TREE DAMAGE--UNTIL HOURS LATER.
ADAMS SAYS HE WAS OUT OF TOWN WHEN THE STORM HIT... BUT DROVE BACK IMMEDIATELY AFTER A NEIGHBOR CALLED.
ADAMS SAYS HE WAS RELEIVED WHEN HE GOT HOME.
Ross Adams, Macon
"im just happy that my family is safe... that's the most important thing. Trees can grow, my house can be fixed and there are a whole lot of other people with a whole lot of other problems out there... I can't complain about some trees that are down."
THE FAMILY SAYS THEY STARTED CLEANING UP AFTER THE STORM... IN HOPES OF GETTING THEIR BACKYARD READY FOR THEIR DAUGHTER'S THRID BIRTHDAY PARTY TOMORROW.

ANOTHER FAMILY... IN THE RIVOLI NEIGHBORHOOD WOKE UP TO FIND TREES IN THEIR CEILING.
THE HOME SUFFERED DAMAGES IN TWO OF THE BEDROOMS AND THE FRONT YARD.
WILLIAM BROSWELL LIVES AT THE HOME AND SAYS HIS FAMILY RAN TO THEIR BASEMENT WHEN THE SIRENS WENT OFF.
HE SAYS THEY BARELY MADE IT.. BEFORE BRICKS STARTED FALLING FROM A WALL ABOVE THEM.
BROSWELL SAYS THE STORM TOOK HIM BY SUPRISE BUT THANKFUL NO ONE WAS HURT.
WILLIAM BROSWELL: "the thing that was so amazing is just how quickly it went from close to dead calm to absolute mayhem so it was an experience I hope never to relive."
BOSWELL SAYS HE AND HIS FAMILY ARE TEMPORARILY STAYING IN A HOTEL.

THE SYSTEM THAT CAME THROUGH THIS MORNING KILLED 17 PEOPLE IN THE MIDWEST AND SOUTH---BEFORE IT PASSED THROUGH GEORGIA.
ITS KILLED MORE PEOPLE AND CAUSED EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN NORTH CAROLINA TONIGHT.
OFFICIALS SAY THEY STILL DON'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN NORTH CAROLINA.
IN SOUTH CAROLINA... SIX PEOPLE ESCAPED UNHARMED AFTER A STORM TORE THE ROOF OFF A CHURCH.
MICHAEL HERZENBERG HAS MORE FROM NEW YORK.
<<
Strong winds ripped homes from their foundations and tore apart several businesses in North Carolina Saturday night.



(:08-:11) SOT: (Mary Brandon/NC Resident) "You couldn't see out of a window. Things were just slashing and things were just popping"



From above, you can see right *into a Lowe's Home Improvement store.

An apparent tornado hopped from homes to big box stores to trucks.




(:21-:28) SOT: (Doug Hoell/Director of North Carolina Emergency Management) "We've had events like this in the past, like the 1980's. But it's been a very long time since we've had something like this."



NATS: wind



(TornadoVideos.net stringer video) The same storm system spawned tornados that terrorized people in at least four states over the past two days.



(28storms.com stringer video) NATS: "dang look at that."



Twisters like this one in Alabama killed more than a half dozen people there ... including a [satu241] mother and her two kids north of Mobile.



SOT: too short to cg (John Prine/Nephew Killed in Storm) "Oh man this is a tragedy"



(handout pictures from the family) Jean Box and her 11 year old and 14 year old were inside this mobile home when the storm tossed it down a hill.



(:59-1:02) SOT: (Lisa Smith/Niece and GrandNephews Killed) "Sheldon, he's 14, he was laying beside Taylor, he'd already passed away and then we kept looking and we found Jean she was up under some rubble. "



The front first flattened buildings in Oklahoma late Thursday.



SOT (too short to cg) "You don't believe it unless you see it."



The system then pushed into Arkansas. Strong winds blew down this tree killing a mother and her 8 year old son as they slept.



(1:16-1:26) Standup : (Michael Herzenberg/New York) "The storm is the deadliest yet this tornado season. The low pressure system generating all the severe weather stretches from the Gulf to Canada....even bringing heavy rains and winds to New York Saturday night."



Residents braced for the worst as the National Weather Service issued tornado warnings up and down the east coast.


>>
NO ONE WAS HURT INSIDE THAT LOWE'S STORE... THANKS TO A MANAGER WHO GATHERED DOZENS OF CUSTOMERS AND WORKERS INTO THE BACK OF THE STORE.


TRIPLE-A SAYS GAS PRICES IN MACON ARE SITTING AT THREE-71.
"Our backs are up against the wall, and you are a God that can just show up at a moment's notice." THAT HAS A DUBLIN GROUP PRAYING... FOR SOME RELIEF AT THE PUMP.
ABOUT A DOZEN PEOPLE CAME OUT TO THIS MORNING'S EVENT... LED BY PASTOR MARSHALL MABRY (MAY-BREE) OF BEACON OF LIGHT CHRISTIAN CENTER.
HE SAYS HE ORGANIZED THE PRAYER AT THE PUMP... TO GIVE PEOPLE IN DUBLIN HOPE-- DURING TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES.
Marshall Mabry, Beacon of Light Christian Center: "People have gotten to a point in their lives where they feel hopeless. They feel like the government has let them down, and I just remind them, even though you feel like the government has let you down, God has not let you down."
PASTOR MABRY SAYS HE HOPES TO START MONTHLY FIRST SATURDAY GAS PRAYERS... IN MAY.

FORMER MACON MAYOR C-JACK ELLIS KICKED OFF HIS CAMPAIGN THIS MORNING.
ELLIS SPOKE TO THE GROUP ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY... IN MOVING MACON FORWARD.
FOLKS GATHERED AROUND TO CELEBRATE THE RIBBON CUTTING FOR HIS FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT.
ELLIS SAYS HIS PREVIOUS RECORD... SHOWS HE'S A LEADER.
HE SAYS HE PLANS TO FOCUS ON BUILDING JOBS... AND FIGHTING CRIME.
BUT ELLIS CALLED HIS TOP PRIORITY... TAKING CARE OF CITY WORKERS.
Mayor C.J. Ellis
"We must look out for their welfare, we can't tell them we're just going to take all their insurance away, when we;ve made certain promises to them give them unsafe and unfair working conditions, hostile working conditions"
ELLIS ALSO SAYS HE WANTS TO TURN SOME AREAS WITH FEW HOMEOWNERS ON ONE STREET... INTO GREEN SPACE OR COMMUNITY GARDENS.--RATHER THAN REVITALIZING THEM.

A DOZEN BOATS RACED DOWN THE OCMULGEE RIVER FOR "THE FRIENDS OF THE TRAIL... GO GREEN REGATTA BOAT RACE."
THEY LAUNCHED FROM AMERSON WATER WORKS PARK... AND HEADED DOWN TO SPRING STREET.
COMPETITORS PICKED UP TRASH AS THEY MOVED DOWN THE RIVER... AND THE BOATER WHO PICKED UP THE MOST--WON.
THE RACE ALSO GAVE PRIZES FOR THE MOST DECORATED BOAT... THE FASTEST CRAFT... AND OLDEST AND YOUNGEST COMPETITOR.
MEANWHILE... FOLKS ON SHORE... GOT TO ENJOY A LITTLE MUSIC AND RELAXATION AS THEY WATCHED THE RACE.
JULIE WILKERSON WITH FRIENDS OF THE TRAIL SAYS THE REGATTA RACE... HONORS THE RIVER.
Julie Wilkerson Friends Of The Trail" the trail is great palce that you can enjoy with your family, if you are a jogger or walk its a beautilful place to bring your anmials and your pets and just enjoy a beautiful bay"
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE BOAT RACE WILL GO TO FRIENDS OF THE TRAIL... WHICH HELPS RAISE MONEY... TO EXTEND THE TRAIL TO THE OCMULGEE NATIONAL MONUMENT.

ARTS AND CRAFT LOVERS CAN BROWSE FOR DEALS AND ENJOY SOME LIVE MUSIC IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEKEND.
THE SEMI-ANNUAL MOSSY CREEK BARNYARD FESTIVAL KICKED OFF TODAY.
SOME PEOPLE BROWSED THROUGH THE MANY ARTS AND CRAFTS VENDORS... HOPING TO SNAG A FEW BARGAINS AMONG THE JEWELRY... HAIR ACCESSORIES AND ARTWORK.
AND THE YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY HAD A CHANCE TO SPEND TIME WITH SOME ANIMAL FRIENDS AT THE PETTING ZOO.
Tiffany O'brien Cochron" It gives people a chance to get out of their house and this is a good family envirment so you dont have to worry about abeing around truoble makers hahahaha"
THE FESTIVAL CONTINUES TOMORROW FROM 10-A-M TO FIVE-P-M... ON LAKE JOY ROAD NEAR PERRY.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT 478-922-8265... AGAIN THAT'S 478-922-8265.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO GET OUT THERE THIS WEEKEND... THE FESTIVAL WILL BE BACK ON OCTOBER 15TH AND 16TH.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.
THE NEWS CONTINUES ALL DAY EVERY DAY... ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.
JOIN US AT SEVEN A-M FOR WEEKEND MORNIN.


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