'Hurricane Elvis' caused buildings to crumble, trees to uproot - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

'Hurricane Elvis' caused buildings to crumble, trees to uproot

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Ten years ago Monday, a massive storm hit the Mid-South. It devastated neighborhoods and forever changed the way people in the region would see summer storms.

It was 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 22, 2003. Winds reaching up to 100 miles per hour swept through the Mid-South.

It did not take long for buildings to crumble, trees to uproot, and cars to turn into junkyard leftovers.

Seven people died in the storm, including an elderly man killed on impact and a 2-month-old baby that died in a fire caused by a candle that was lit as a result of a power outage.

For two weeks, nearly 300,000 homes had no electricity, enduring temperatures in excess of 90 degrees.

Though the storm of straight-line winds is technically called a derecho, the event earned colloquial "hurricane" status and the public named it "Hurricane Elvis".

Action News 5 is revisiting the neighborhoods directly affected by this storm -- and speaking to survivors about how their lives were changed and how they came back from the devastation. Tune into the special coverage Monday at 5 p.m.

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