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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homeowner Blames Twister For Water Damage

PEARL, MS (WLBT) - The New Year's Eve tornado downed trees and caved in roofs in Pearl.

One homeowner said the punch it packed left her family under water. It is a problem that the Toni Lane resident claims to have been battling for over a decade.

Leaf blowers roared Monday as residents on Patterson Drive in Pearl cleared the debris from the damaging winds of Friday's twister.

About five miles away on Toni Lane Rhonda Westerfield was drying out from the storm's torrential downpour.

"Every time there's a massive amount of rain, like flash flooding we get water in our house," said Westerfield.

She has lived here 14 years and endured three floods.

"The tornado was over the house, and then all of a sudden it was just massive amounts of rain. Water got in the house. It was knee deep in our front yard and waist high in our back yard because the water wasn't able to drain off properly," said the frustrated homeowner.

Her house is in a low lying area between Napoleon Avenue and Nelson Circle.

The 43 year old said she has complained to the city for years about the need for more drainage on the street.

Westerfield said the rushing water rose above the wheels of a PT Cruiser parked in the back yard.

"There's a Bible in this water standing in the car," said 24 year old Joshua Westerfield as he removed the wet book the back seat floor board.

Three days after the rains, water fell from the Bible as Joshua squeezed its pages together.

Westerfield pointed out her the toy car her grandson fits inside and drives.

It was resting on her back fence not far from the PT Cruiser.

Before Friday's rains she said it was in the front yard.

The cleaning service owner said the clogged ditch behind her home also causing flooding.

"They keep telling us that they're cleaning the ditches out by districts, and so we've been here 14 years. This district has not been done yet," said Westerfield.

The Pearl resident said water also entered the house.

"This was brand new floor just put down in April," she said while point to buckling in the laminate flooring.

Westerfield has insurance, but not flood insurance and said the area is not a designated flood zone.

We were unable to reach Pearl Public Works officials for comment because the department was closed for the New Year's holiday.

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