Storm rips through city

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By Alice Du Pont

A band of severe thunderstorms raced over Gadsden County early Tuesday morning leaving leaving power outages, down trees and damages. No lives, however, were loss.
    "I was sound asleep. I woke up with ceiling tiles, nails and stuff all around me. I was scared. I didn't know what was happening said Willie Mae Long who lives on Love Street in Quincy.
    It was pitch black and all Long could see was sharp lightning and hear loud claps of thunder. She said her late husband had insisted she keep a flash light on the floor next to the bed but she couldn't find it. Long then crawled through a small opening between her bedroom into another room where, she said, she tried to gather her composure.
    "The lightning was peeling all around me. I was trying to get out of the back door and couldn't. Nothing but God brought me through this. God saved me. You don't know when you will need Him," she said.
    As the storm whirled around her, Long used the flashes of lighting to find her way through the house. Because she didn't know how much damage the storm had caused she didn't want to risk stepping on a nail of piece of glass. Nature called and as she went into the bathroom she instinctively put her hand on the light switch.
    "The lights came on. It was a blessing because I could see. There are 10 telephones in this house, including the pool house, and none of them worked," she said.
    A neighbor called the police department and Long was able to flag them down. She said it was so dark they could no readily see the damage from the street.
    "I'm here. I'm here. This is the house," Long said, adding, "I was screaming because I didn't want them to pass me by." 
    "When they heard my voice the other neighbors came out. They were so comforting," she said.
    "I have a few bumps and scrapes but it could have been so much worse, so much worse," Long said, rubbing the fronts of her legs Tuesday afternoon.
    City Manager Jack McLean said utility and public works employees have been out since shortly after 3 a.m. First restoring power lines, cutting tree limbs from roadways and removing them from power lines. By 2 p.m. most of the outages had been repaired with the exception of a few.
    "When storms happen these things happen. We appreciate hat our citizens have been, for the most part, patient with our crews and their attempts to restore power and remove limbs and debris as quickly as possible," McLean said.