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Posted: 9:03 p.m. Saturday, March 3, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
An EF-2 tornado left $1.9 million of damage to 49 homes in Cabarrus County early Saturday morning, leaving the county in an official State of Emergency.
The Steeple Chase neighborhood was one of the areas that was hit the hardest, but beyond the sound of chainsaws cutting through fallen trees are stories of survival.
“This is like what you see on TV and you don't think you’ll be in the middle of it,” said Susan Berry.
Berry, her 14-year-old daughter and her friend were sleeping inside their home when the ceiling started falling.
“I ran to them in the far bedroom, where the roof is gone, and we ran down the stairs,” said Berry.
The three hid in a closet as pieces of their home were thrown about, including a camper the girls almost slept in Friday night.
“Thank God my girl was not in this,” Berry said.
Down the street from Berry are four homes damaged so badly they can’t be lived in, like Marvin White’s.
“We’ll do something tonight and make a long-term arrangement tomorrow,” said White.
He, too, is just relieved that no one was hurt. His grandson narrowly escaped injury.
“As soon as he got through the hallway the ceiling fell in,” he said.
The people of Steeple Chase are finding that amid the horror, the power of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers survives.
“Our neighbors are helping each other, just there for the hugs, saying, ‘You all right?’” said Debbie Funderburk.
“I’m going through chemo and all that so that's not even as bad as this,” said Berry. “But we’re doing good, lots of prayers, lots of friends.”
Berry says that she has been told it will likely take two to three months for everything to be cleaned up.
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