Anxious residents wait for news
By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
As area residents watched and listened in disbelief to news of terrorist activities Tuesday morning, their immediate concern was for family and friends who work in New York and Washington.
Andrea Carpenter, who teaches at Rachel Patterson Elementary, got word Tuesday afternoon that her cousin, Stanton Hollington, who worked at the World Trade Center, was all right. Hollington, a financial adviser, worked on the 68th floor of the second building that was hit.
Carpenter's mother talked with Hollington's mother and related the following series of events to Carpenter. Hollington was in a meeting and actually saw the first plane hit the tower. Everyone knew immediately that they had to evacuate. Hollington called his wife who works for the City of New York and whose office is also in Manhattan. Mrs. Hollington's building began evacuating, as did all businesses in the area. The Hollingtons agreed to meet at home.
Elise Crook spent some anxious moments Tuesday morning. Her son Charles, an engineer with the Defense Department, was scheduled to fly out of Washington Dulles International Airport en route to Huntsville Tuesday morning. Knowing that Charles always flies commercial airlines, she was alarmed to hear that some commercial planes were missing.
Mrs. Crook spoke with her daughter-in-law Cindy and found that Charles's flight was canceled after the attacks and he never boarded the plane.
Much of his work is done at the Pentagon.
She talked with her son Tuesday afternoon. He said some of his co-workers were at the Pentagon Tuesday and he had not heard from them.
The news of terrorist activities hit close to home for the Poarch Creek Indians. Two former Atmore residents and tribal members work in Washington D.C. Fears were that the attack on the Pentagon was just the beginning as other federal buildings were evacuated.
As of Tuesday morning, the tribe had been able to contact Robbie McGhee, who works with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. His brother Daniel is public relations director for the tribe.
Tribal Chairman Eddie Tullis said Tuesday morning efforts to contact Terri Poust were unsuccessful. Poust is a commissioner on the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) in Washington. Tuesday afternoon, they learned that Poust was out of town at the time of the attacks.
Tullis added that tribal employees who were traveling on tribal business were stranded in Houston when air travel was halted. They rented a car and were headed home Tuesday morning.
Another group of tribal members had already gone to Nashville and Tullis was scheduled to join them Tuesday night. However, the event they were to attend was at a federal building which was closed Tuesday morning.