Tornado Damage in Paris

1 decade 6 months 2 weeks ago March 15, 2006 Mar 15, 2006 Wednesday, March 15 2006 Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:12:51 PM CST in News

The severe storms destroyed or damaged at least 100 homes in the county, including Bruce Gilmore's in Paris.

"And I walked outside, out to the patio back here, and heard a sound like a train coming," he recalled.

That was just seconds before Gilmore took shelter in the basement of his home off Highway 15.

"You could hear things just starting to hit and it basically just, you know, ripped the top of the house off," he added.

Gilmore's home was gone. In its place, he found his neighbor's truck.

"I came up here the next morning and, sure enough, it was sitting in the middle of the house," he said.

Winds reaching 200 miles an hour picked up the neighbor's truck from across the street, then tossed it hundreds of feet into Gilmore's former living room.

Fortunately, Paris cares.

"To me, that's the real story here," Gilmore said. "People have been coming up here and saying, 'Whatever you need' and saying, 'If you need help, we're here for you.'"

Although Gilmore's neighbors are happy to help, many have to deal with their own damage.

"We've had a few reports of lost and injured livestock," said Tony Francis, director of Monroe County Farm Service. "We've had a few lost feed supplies, haybales and things. I mean, you can see some of that north of town."

Missing livestock, uprooted trees, and demolished barns are just a few of the problems in the county. Francis wants farmers to know they're not alone.

"Let us know soon, so we can get that documented," he explained. "And then, when we do get a program approved, hopefully, we can go back and provide them assistance."

In the meantime, Gilmore and his neighbors continue to pick up the pieces and hope for the best.

For more information about last weekend's storms from our weather team's perspective, go to the weatherplus blog in the message board at this website.

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