Terry has lived in the area for 21 years. He bought the land his trailer is on in 1994 when his son was one year old. He eventually worked for Evendale Shipyard building navy ships and aircraft carriers. Nine years ago he fell off of a flight deck and has a great deal of back pain as a result. He is limited in what he can do by himself to rebuild from the devastation of the tornados and storm surge. Here is his description of his son’s and his escape from the storm.
“When we started to leave from the hurricane, we was going to stay tell it started to get real bad. We stayed at all of them before. They never was this bad. It started to get real bad. When we was backing out of the drive It looked like the back of a tornado came through the corner over there. When we was backing out me and him got out. We went to Diamondhead to that motel. We got a room at the top floor. We wasn’t in our room for about 10 or 15 minutes and the big picture windows in it started coming in — blowing in — so it was getting bad. We wanted to get out. The wind was pushing probably 170 miles an hour. Just as we got down off the top floor we heard a big boom and looking up the whole top floor of the motel got gone. We lost everything we had in the top of the motel in the room. We wound up staying for little over a week in a corner.”
It wasn’t until the middle of January when he and his son were able to return to find that his trailer had been looted. Terry had lost everything. He mentioned gold plates that had belonged to his mother. And now he was about to loose his trailer. Due to new building codes passed after the hurricane if a trailer was not at the level it had been before the hurricane by July 1, 2006 (just days from our arrival) Terry would have to raise his trailer an additional 4 feet or risk loosing it. As Terry said “this is my last chance right here.” Fortunately one member of our crew had the skill to assist and we were able to raise the trailer to the appropriate height. We also cleared a fallen tree and cleaned around the trailer and his yard leaving Terry very happy.