CALHOUN CITY • Martha Edmond and her husband, T.C., were huddled in the hallway of their Washington Street home in Calhoun City when what's believed to be a tornado came through.
It was 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, and Edmond remembers the storm taking less than 10 minutes to pass through the small town.
“It happened so fast and so quick, but all lives were safe ... (we) didn’t lose any lives, thank the Lord,” Edmond said.
The Edmonds' home only sustained relatively minor damage in the storm, all of it confined to the roof. A tree branch punctured a hole in their bedroom ceiling, causing water to pour inside. All things considered, it could have been much worse.
Since living in Calhoun City since 1989, she said she'd never seen anything like it in her area.
"I don't even recognize my neighborhood anymore," she said.
On Monday morning, hours after the storm, residents and emergency personnel assessed the damage mainly concentrated along the stretch from Veterans Avenue to South Main Street.
Damage hit neighborhoods in the blocks between Johnson Avenue and Gore Avenue. Custom Metal Fabrication, a welding factory that makes metal parts, saw two of their locations hit, with portions of annex A's roof either collapsed inward or blown off entirely. Employees were busy trying to clear the building, Monday afternoon.
Trees caused most of the damage for residents. At least a half dozen homes and an apartment complex had downed trees atop them, and several cars showed visible damage. Natchez Trace Electric Power Association and Atmos Energy crews were out clearing debris, fixing power lines, and slowly working through the aftermath of the potentially tornadic storm.
Edmond's neighbor, Adell Shaw, was sitting on her living room couch watching the news when the lights flickered. She heard the sharp cracking of wood — the sounds of trees and a light pole snapping. She initially thought a tree hat hit her home, but her home only sustained a bit of roof and window shutters damage. However, she noticed a few of her neighbors' homes had trees fallen on top of them.
“I went out there this morning,” Shaw said. “When I went out there and looked at (my neighbor’s) house, she couldn’t even get in.”
Belinda Dye narrowly missed the storm by a few minutes. She left her Oakwood Apartments building at 8:29 p.m. to go to Derma, and saw what she initially thought was lightning. Later, she realized what she saw was likely power lines snapping. Her own apartment building was mainly undamaged, minus some shingling blowing off, but a tree did fall in the parking lot.
It landed where she had been parked just minutes before.
“I’m just glad we got out of the parking lot . . . where the tree fell, we would have been right there. We were blessed to get out of the way,” Dye said. “It’s a million wonders that tree didn’t just go right over.”
Myesha Bean was at her grandmother's Vardaman residence with her children when the tornado hit. She just narrowly missed being home when a tree fell on top of her white car and punctured her apartment window at Oakwood Apartments, blocking off much of the parking lot and apartment entrances at her building.
“I’m so happy I wasn’t at home," Bean said. "I would have panicked. I was about to come to Calhoun City, but it started raining and (my grandmother) wouldn’t let me and my kids leave.”
Several of her family members, who also lived in the same neighborhood, were home when the catastrophic storm hit. They hid in their closets, Bean said. A tree fell on top of the home of her children's grandmother and damaged a few relatives’ cars.
While she's grateful she wasn't home and that her second car was spared, Bean said she is still reeling from the shock of the storm.
“I don’t know what to do, so I sit here and look," Bean said. "I’m just so shocked."