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Faces of the Storm: Tina Miner & Herbert Collins

When deciding where to relocate after Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed New Orleans in August of 2005, Tina Miner asked her fiance, Herbert Collins, if his hometown ever had any extreme weather.

Mr. Collins told her Thomson was as safe a place to live as they would find. The couple moved into a house on West Street, and during last week's storms, were forced to relive the devastation of Katrina in the place they had taken refuge.

"I can't stop shaking. I thought we were going to die. I really did," Ms. Miner said. "...It definitely sounds like a train. I will never forget that sound. I will never forget it. I told him, 'It's going to hit. That's that sound.'"

The back of their home took the brunt of the wind. As Ms. Miner recalled the harrowing details of her second encounter with the force of Mother Nature, workers were repairing a hole the storm left in the brick wall.

"The whole window, the whole frame just came through, and my kids were in the bed," she said. "How they made it out, I don't know."

As she ran down the hall to her children's room, the hall door flew past her. The boys had decided to stay in the girls' room that evening, and it was good thing, too, she said. A television set ended up broken and splayed across the bed where her sons would have been laying.

"My kids, they're horrified," Ms. Miner said. "They were in there, like I said. And there were about 40 bricks in their room, and they didn't touch them."Compared to Katrina's wrath, she said this storm may have been more frightening to experience in the moment.

"The scary part for Katrina, for me, was being in the water," she said. "...My older kids, two of them couldn't swim, and they were holding onto me tight. Katrina was more of a disaster after the storm. This was like a 10 minute, scare-you-to-death thing. Both of them were horrific."

Web posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007

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