Residents come to each other’s aid

Adam Turboville cleans debris and tree limbs from his roof Saturday morning in the 1400 block of Eastridge Street. (Staff photo: Sharna Johnson)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Neighbors were out in force Saturday morning, working together to clean debris from one of several tornadoes that struck the Clovis area Friday night.

About a half dozen homes a block north of Yucca Junior High School in the 1400 block of Eastridge Street sustained damage. Trees were scattered in yards, lying on roofs, and vehicle and home windows were shattered from flying debris and high winds.

“A pine cone, thank you,” Betsy Mount said, accepting a damp, bedraggled pine cone from her 5-year-old granddaughter, Haidyn Mount.

“We don’t have a pine tree either,” she said, scanning her debris-covered front yard. “The shingles are probably ours, the rest of it’s somebody else’s,” she said.

Mount said when the tornado struck, she was on her way into her laundry room to seek shelter. The back windows on her home shattered, she said.

“We were fortunate; we were just on the edge of it,” she said.

As Mount sat in a lawn chair talking about the experience, her sons and husband bustled back and forth, loading a wheelbarrow with pieces of wood, glass and shingles.

She and her husband, Robert, just moved to Clovis from Abilene, Kan.

“All the years up there and we never were in (a tornado),” Robert Mount said on his way by with a chunk of soggy lumber.

Down the street, Adam Turboville handed tree limbs down from his roof, his mother-in-law, Melody Drake, dragging them away and returning for more.

“It was quite exciting. … It was quite a night,” said the Cannon Air Force Base airman, crouched on top of his roof, surveying the damage from a broken tree in his front yard.

High winds drove a board through the roof and into his daughter’s bedroom, he said.

After the tornado passed, Turboville said a neighbor was banging on the door to see if he and his family were OK.

Together, he and his neighbors started going door-to-door, looking for several elderly widows who live nearby. Only one was at home; he said he brought the woman back to his home to ride out the storm with his family.

The storm doesn’t change his opinion of the area, Turboville said, explaining he met a local girl, now his wife, and fell in love with her.

“This place is awesome,” he said.