Satsuma residents compare damage on Bayou Avenue to Hurricane Katrina

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — We’re still finding out just how much damage Hurricane Sally left across Mobile County. One area we have not seen too much of yet, but has a history of flooding is Satsuma.

Trees are down on Bayou Avenue. One barely missed a house, but just about a block down the street, one family woke up to one inside.

The live oak in the Helterbrand’s front yard split in half in Hurricane Sally. Part of the branches pierced through their home. The homeowners have lived there for 15 years. They were told it may be a total loss which is even more devastating to them because the tree down holds a special place in their hearts.

Mary Helterbrand had her and her husband’s name Moe carved into the tree the day they moved in, which just happened to be Valentine’s Day.

Mary recalled to us how it all happened. She said, “It was about four o’clock in the morning, me and my husband were sleeping in the living room and we just heard something that sounded like a bomb. I can’t even make myself think about it to be honest with you.”

She thanks several groups who have helped like the Swamp Cartel whose members helped cut tree limbs off the house, and the City of Satsuma for tarps.

Just down the block, a completely different story.

The sound of a tree snapping woke up Lindsey Cunningham. She said, “I heard this loud boom, the house shook… I could barely keep the door open, but I could see that there was something really large in the front yard.”

Cunningham told WKRG News 5, her tree too fell around four in the morning, hours after her house already lost power. She said, “That was probably the scariest thing about it was just not being able to see what was happening around me.”

Cunningham grew up on the Gulf Coast. She’s lived in her home for more than 10 years, but says she’s never experienced anything like Hurricane Sally. She said, “The wind that we felt up here that morning, I have never felt that in a hurricane, not even in Katrina.”

While she’s without power, she said things could have been a lot worse. She said, “I know this looks terrible, but I feel very blessed because I’m a single Mom. I have an eight year old son who never even woke up.”

Mobile County asks any residents with damage who need help to call 2-1-1.

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