Weather

Raleigh infant dies of storm-related injuries

Posted April 19, 2011 11:45 a.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2011 5:12 p.m. EDT

— The fourth child injured when Saturday's storms sent a tree crashing into a north Raleigh mobile home has died, police said Tuesday.

Six-month-old Yaire Quistian-Nino was critically injured as her mother tried to protect her, her brother and two cousins at the Stony Brook North mobile home park during the storm.

The other three children – Daniel Quistian-Nino, 9, Osvaldo Coronado-Nino, 8, and Kevin Uriel Coronado-Nino, 3 – were killed instantly when the large tree slammed down on the mobile home in which they were trying to ride out the storm.

Christina Alvarez had gathered the children into a closet for safety and was holding Yaire in her arms to shield her, police said. Daniel and Yaire were her children, and Osvaldo and Kevin were her nephews.

Sherry Beane said her husband helped pull Yaire from the mangled home after the storm hit.

“We were praying for her,” Beane said after hearing of the child's death. 

Visitation for all four children will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday at St. Raphael Catholic Church, on Falls of Neuse Road. A funeral service will follow at 7 p.m.

The baby's death brings to 23 the number of people who died in North Carolina as a result of the storms.

Stony Brook North resident Juan Trejo Ochoa said the storm flipped his mobile home three times, injuring him and his family members. His 18-year-old daughter remains hospitalized with broken ribs and a fractured foot.

"The only thing I can really remember is the horrible sound – the roaring sound," Ochoa said Tuesday through a translator.

Ochoa hasn't been able to return to his home to see the damage.

"We are anxious to get back in. We have a little dog, and we don't know where she is," he said. "When we got out, in that moment, the tree fell on the house where the little children died, and so what can be worst than seeing that?"

The storm left 52 of the 200 mobile homes in Stony Brook North uninhabitable, police said. Twenty-seven of those homes were destroyed.

Police kept residents out of the neighborhood until Monday evening, when they allowed small groups of residents to return briefly to gather up whatever belongings they could carry out.

Residents continued to wait at the edge of the neighborhood throughout the day Tuesday for another chance to return to their homes.

"It's really hard when you have to shack up in somebody's house and you feel like you are imposing, and they feel a little bit more comfortable here," said Jenny Faison, assistant director of the International Association of Raleigh.

Faison's group was coordinating the distribution of everything from clothes to basic necessities for Stony Brook North residents.

"They really need not just clothes and food, they need somebody to sit down and say, 'What can we really help you with?'" she said.

City officials allowed residents to return to homes that weren't seriously damaged on Tuesday afternoon. Raleigh Fire Department personnel assisted residents who needed to retrieve belongings from homes that are no longer habitable.

Police Chief Harry Dolan said it would still be a few days before the neighborhood, which is off Brentwood Road in northeast Raleigh, is safe enough for residents whose homes were not destroyed to move back in. A tree-removal company, fire crews and Progress Energy worked since Saturday to clear debris and remove downed power lines.

Catholic Parish Outreach and the Salvation Army were among the groups distributing supplies to displaced families.

"What God says, in the worst of times, when people are like that, they need help," said Claudio Diaz, pastor of Pacto De Vida Eterna church.

Officials recommended that people leave donations for the Stony Brook North residents at the emergency shelter set up at Heritage High School, on Forestville Road in Wake Forest. People can also make online donations through Catholic Charities

Officials said Monday that damage in Wake County from the weekend storms is at least $65 million. In Raleigh alone, 63 homes were destroyed, and another 185 had major damage, a city official said.