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Wilson Cotton Warehouse Takes Pounding From Isabel

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WILSON, N.C. — Colter Paxton is a middle man in the cotton business, but last week, one of his storage sites in Wilson was caught in the middle of Hurricane Isabel.

The storm took off the roof of his 60,000-square-foot warehouse.

"Obviously, the wind found a weak place in the roof and once it started going, it went and blew the whole thing off," Paxton said.

The warehouse is now full of twisted steel beams and hundreds of rolled-up tin panels.

"I'm glad I had a little forewarning, so I didn't have to drive up on it. I might have driven off the bridge right here if I did not know about it," Paxton said.

Paxton had 3,000 bales of cotton stored at the warehouse. Moving them out of the elements was a herculean task.

"Bales mostly weigh about 500 pounds average and they're just as hard as a street," he said.

Paxton said it took two days to load up and haul the cotton to another warehouse. Because it was wrapped in plastic, he figures the cotton will be fine. Paxton hopes to have a new roof on in time to start storing cotton harvested this year.


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