Mystic Kane Manor area copes with storm's fury Red Cross will sponsor tornado 'debriefing' for Carroll residents

July 22, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Amid the noise of contractors' tools putting temporary roofs on damaged Carroll County homes, many neighbors in the community of Mystic Kane Manor spent yesterday swapping insurance stories as they gasped at friends' homes shredded by the Friday afternoon storm.

Things were quieter yesterday than Saturday, residents agreed, but it will be months before they get back to normal.

To that end, the Red Cross will sponsor a meeting this week for the Carroll residents whose neighborhoods were devastated by Friday's tornado. The session, to be held at 7: 30 p.m. Wednesday at the Gamber and Community Volunteer Fire Department, is billed as a "debriefing," said Chris Letnaunchyn, Red Cross disaster response coordinator.

The meeting is for residents to talk and listen, to get information about services they may need and to come together.

After looking around the neighborhood, James Rayner considered the damage to his house caused by flying debris "superficial." But his insurance agent, G. Price Tarleton, said it will run to tens of thousands of dollars, "and they are one of the smaller ones."

He said most people will find their insurance companies generous because of the severity of the disaster. However, he said it could be the end of the year before some people can move back into rebuilt houses.

Six homes have been declared unlivable. Damaged homes were topped and sided by blue plastic, their windows boarded to protect them from further storm damage and potential vandalism, their lawns spattered with everything from torn toys to mangled siding. Truck-size trash bins, overflowing with construction debris, were everywhere.

Insurance agents and building contractors have not finished assessing damage.

Many people, Fred and Yukari Simpson among them, will not know how serious their homes' damage is until detailed structural work is completed.

The wall of the lower level of the Simpson house cracked in two places and shifted, which might threaten the foundation, Fred Simpson said. The couple sent their two children, ages 11 and 7, to stay with a relative in New York, because floors, carpeting and furniture were covered in tiny shards of glass -- an easily remedied problem to a contractor, but a critical safety issue for a parent.

"The lower the damage" in a home, "the harder it is to fix," Joseph McDowell, project manager for the Builders Group Inc., a Towson insurance restoration company said.

Maryland State Police and Carroll sheriffs guarded roads into the development, continuing to close them to outside traffic last night.

Pub Date: 7/22/96

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