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Cleanup begins

By Staff
CLEANING UP Lil' Bit Fuller, right, and Tesa Bloebaum lend a hand to Paul Bolen, owner of Bolen's Food Store at Dalewood Shores, who lost his entire store during Saturday's storm. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
Dec. 18, 2000
Rick Gryner spent his Sunday afternoon occasionally turning the Christmas party turkey he started Saturday morning.
Joey Burt busied himself cutting firewood for the holidays.
And David Heisey and a few of his friends stood around in his backyard, killing time until the barbecue pit produced supper for him and his crew of neighbors.
Reports indicate at least eight people from the Dalewood community were injured and more than 100 homes were lost or damaged by a storm that ripped through the area shortly before noon Saturday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Stefkovich said straight-line winds and circulating gusts swept across the northeast part of the city Saturday around noon. But an official determination has not been made on whether the storm was a tornado.
Even so, a "feeling of relief and thankfulness" that no worse damage was done was shared Sunday by storm survivors some 20 miles away in Russell where at about the same time Saturday apparent straight-line winds reaching at least 100-miles-an-hour and whipping torrential rains sent 13 people to the hospital. Dozens of houses, mobile homes and businesses were damaged on Russell Marion, Charles Dunn, Cedar Lake and Old Homestead roads.
Otherwise, complaints were few as the situation turned from immediate crisis to recovery and clean up.
Meals were also offered all day Sunday by the American Red Cross' emergency rescue vehicle and at its emergency medical shelter set up immediately after the storm at Lauderdale United Methodist Church.
Sunday because no one used it the night before.
over 75 meals last night and no telling how many breakfast plates this morning," Hays said.
Power was restored to most of the homes by 3 p.m. Sunday, but most telephone service continued to depend on cell phones as crews worked to repair damage.
And, utility crews continued to work late Sunday to provide electricity to Russell residents.
Cleanup in both communities is expected to continue for the next several weeks, although all roads had been reopened by midday Sunday.
we all had family and friends to call on and who were more than ready to give us what we needed."
Volunteers from all area volunteer fire departments, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, many of whom worked through the night Saturday, are planning to stick around for the next couple of days, officials said.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@themeridianstar.com.

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