Gulfport Native Remembers Escaping The Second Tower - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Native Remembers Escaping The Second Tower

Gulfport native Pam Stennis has vivid memories of the events of 9-11. She was in New York that day working in one of the World Trade Center towers.

Stennis says she remembers the walls shaking and the roof collapsing around her.

"I didn't really get unpacked or settled good or get my computer booted up before American went through next door," Pam Stennis said.

She had just made it to her office on the 59th floor of the Second World Trade Center Tower when terrorists flew a plane into the tower right next door.

"I decided it was time to get out of Dodge, and I moved very quickly. I went back and estimated it, and I did a flight of stairs every 17 seconds. That's how quickly I moved," Stennis said.

Thirteen minutes later terrorists flew a plane into World Trade Center Tower number two.

Stennis was in the lobby of that building at the time of impact.

"I sat there and I looked up and I watched the building actually move a foot in each direction, and the marble veneer on the walls popped off, and the ceiling started falling in on me," Stennis said.

Stennis managed to get out before the building collapsed, but her escape was far from over.

"By the time I got through the exits to get into the underground mall, it was pretty putrid with burning jet fuel. It was black. It was hard to really breathe at that point, and you had a lot of hysteria at that juncture," Stennis said.

Stennis walked more than seven miles through the chaotic streets of New York to get to her apartment.

The next day, she flew home to Mississippi.

"I just decided it was time to come home to a slower place," Stennis said.

A lot has changed in the past five years for Stennis. She's now married, lives in Gulfport and is expecting her first child due in December.

"One day, yes, I'll have to take him to New York and tell him about my great escape. It's like getting off the Titantic," she said.

By Toni Miles

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