Roof ripped off apartment during storm in Hazlehurst

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HAZLEHURST, Miss. (WJTV) – The frigid temperatures have many people turning up the heat as they seek shelter, but one unlucky renter and business owner in Hazlehurst has no roof at all over their head. This morning’s thunderstorm blew it completely out of place with the renter inside.

A steady breeze is picking up as we approach the 40’s tonight but come Thursday morning things are expected to be much colder. But some can’t take shelter in their own home after Wednesday morning thunderstorms.

Off Monticello St. in Hazlehurst sits a neighborhood bar, with an apartment on the second floor Kenneth Brown has rented for over a year. Within seconds most rooms were ruined.

“Sounded like the whole building was getting crushed,” Brown told us. “And I got up when I was coming through the hallway that’s when I’d seen the outside from inside. The rain started coming in and that’s when I realized it had to be a tornado or something that came through.”

Half the roof sat in the yard right next to where Brown parked his car while the other half hungover electrical wires held up by almost nothing but gravity. Neighbors outside witnessed it happen.

“All of a sudden, a big gust of wind about 60-70 mph,” Clyde Adams said. “And I looked as it took that blue barrel which was by telephone pole and took it 40ft. in the air twirling it around. That half of the roof went straight up and hit the ground, this half of the roof shifted, and back half of the roof went that way.”

As the storm went on tiles were knocked from the ceiling along with water damage spreading over almost all of Brown’s belongings.

“All the stuff in my daughter’s room like her bed and some appliances in there is wet,” Brown said. “My couch, my recliners is all wet and damaged. I have to unplug everything including my refrigerator because I’m scared it might catch fire.”

Brown has reached out to the Mississippi Red Cross who is supposed to visit his home. He already agreed to temporarily relocate once he figures out where to go.

Wherever you are taking shelter make sure your pets are all brought in and warm during the overnight drop in temperature. While being responsible for any space heaters not getting plugged into extension cords to avoid fires.

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