Gone with the wind

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

When Shannon Adams and her mom Beth Carnley began shopping for the burnt orange and deep yellow ribbon, the little silver bells and the tulle-wrapped bubbles for Adams’ wedding, they never imagined it would all be blown away.

But that is exactly what happened Thursday when a 90 mile-per-hour straight-line wind flattened the Onycha home Adams shared with her fiancé, Chad Williamson, as heavy rain and damaging winds hit on the first day of a three-day tour of Covington County.

Gone were the cups, plates and serving trays for the reception, the silk flowers and everything the couple needed for their June 20 wedding date, as well as just about everything they owned.

Both Williamson and Adams agreed there were three saving graces that day — one, Adams’ bead encrusted wedding gown, shoes and headpiece were safe at her mother’s house; two, the couple was able to salvage the bulk of their wardrobe out of the storm debris, and lastly, no one was hurt that day.

“We were ready. We had everything. We could have been married next weekend,” Adams said. “But it’s going to be okay. No one was hurt, and that’s the most important thing.”

Adams is a sixth grade math teacher at Charles Henderson Middle School in Troy. Williamson works in his family’s cabinet shop, Cabinets4U, located half a mile from the couple’s home. The couple has been dating for nine months.

Their doublewide trailer was a rental, and they had no renter’s insurance. But family, friends, neighbors and well-wishers worked all of Thursday and part of Friday sifting through the debris of what was the couple’s home.

On Friday morning during Opp’s local radio station WAMI shoppers’ line, callers flooded the lines wanting to know how they could donate items.

“There has just been a great outpour of people calling, wanting to donate items,” said WAMI’s “Bonnie Rae.” “But that’s what people in Opp and Covington County do when their neighbors need help.”

By Friday afternoon, Adams said two sets of dishes, a stove, a couch, monetary donations and even a place to live had been offered.

“People have just been wonderful,” Williamson said. “We can’t thank them enough. The money, them showing up to help. I don’t even know who all has come and lent a hand. We just want to say thank you.”

As for the couple’s future, well, they’re still “sorting through it, no pun intended,” and they’re unsure if they will keep their June wedding date.

“It’s kind of like we’re starting over,” Adams said. “We had this whole conversation (Thursday) night about why this happened, and we decided we’re not supposed to know, but we will when it’s time. And that’s okay.

“Until then, we’ve got each other and that’s all that matters,” she said.

Williamson agreed.

“We’ve got so much other stuff to take care of,” he said. “We’re just going to live day by day and see where the Lord wants us to go.”

Until the couple decides on living arrangements, they are staying with Adams’ mom in her Opp home. Anyone wishing to donate items is asked to call 334-493-9060.