Jackson woman concerned after tree causes damage to home again

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – One day after Ida passed through the Jackson metro-area, one woman wants to know why she’s left to clean up the damage to her home on her own.

Stella Wells has lived in her Jackson home for almost 50 years. This is the third time in just a few months that a part of the same tree has fallen on her home. Wells’ family said she’s lucky to be alive, but without city or government assistance, she can’t afford to fix it again.

“I came on through the gate there and looked, and I said, ‘Oh, no. It’s that tree again,'” she stated.

“Make me mad for one thing. Disgusted. Because see, I don’t have money to waste. I can barely get what I need now as it is, but then when you have to come up with extra money, that’s just too much right there.”

Family members said Wells was trapped inside when the tree split. She was rescued by the Jackson Fire Department.

“Limbs and branches and wires were everywhere, and it was just a scary scene for my auntie to be in. I called 911 to help us get her out. They came out, and they did a phenomenal job as to accessing the scene and looking at the live wires. Being an older house, they were concerned that it could catch fire, or someone could get shocked because the rain was coming down,” said Johnny Wilson, Wells’ nephew.

Her meter box was ripped from her home during the storm. She’s been without power for 24 hours, and she relies on the power to keep her medications cool. Her brother, James Wilson, said he understands emergency crews are busy, but it’s been a challenge to get help.

“Things like this happen. You’re on a fixed income. You can’t do too much. I mean, you look for people to help, and they got these different people we call on for help, and everybody’s been turning her away. Nobody’s been able to say they can do nothing,” said Wilson.

“I called the right people, and they say I need to get a permit, and I don’t know nothing about a permit. But I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. Where I’m supposed to get it from?” said Wells.

Her brother-in-law was able to clear a path for her to get in and out of her home, but Wells is worried that the last part of the tree could fall on her home.

Entergy officials said a licensed electrician would have to come out and repair the meter box before they can fully restore Wells’ power. The repairs would come out of her pocket.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has a hotline for Hurricane Ida assistance questions. The number is 1-888-574-3583. The hotline will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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