Cleanup begins after violent storm knocks down two condo walls

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Strong winds from Monday's severe weather caused some damage to a condominium complex in Gautier. Two walls at the Riverbend Condominiums came crashing down around 8 p.m.

Piece by piece, crews started removing a wall that was knocked down by brutal winds Monday night.

"I'm really shaken up. I haven't been asleep all night, because the wind was hitting up against the wall and I was really scared that the wall would come in," said Donna Gibson.

Gibson recalled those frightening moments when the storm blew through the Riverbend Condominiums on Martin Bluff Road. Her unit is just on the other side of the collapsed wall.

"I heard it just in time. I grabbed my son and ran in the bathroom and put my arms around him," said Gibson.

Neighbors said when the winds picked up, the wall started shaking.

"You couldn't hear nothing fall or nothing like that, but it was roaring real bad. Whoo, whoo, whoo. Oh, it was rough. It was bad. Everybody was running out scared," said Floyd Beverly, who lives in the same building as Gibson.

"The inside of the wall pushed inwards towards me as I came down the steps. I was just fortunate that the whole wall didn't come, just this outer part came loose," said Gibson's dad Armando Smith.

Amazingly, Gibson said everything inside her unit remained intact. Even the pictures remained on the wall, and there was very little water damage.

"It was a really loud noise. I thought it was the trash cans out there moving around. I walked outside and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was just amazing," Gibson said.

Strong winds also tore down an entire wall of another building on the other side of the complex. Roofs on several units were damaged, along with tree limbs and debris scattered across the property.

As neighbors tried to clean up the mess and wait for the repairs to begin, Salvation Army volunteers offered them food, water, cleaning kits and a bit of comfort.

"Thankfully it's over now and we made it through alive. So, I'm grateful," said Gibson.

The manager of the complex told WLOX News five units at the complex were damaged, but luckily nobody was hurt.

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