Homes, church damaged in Wednesday morning storms

Homes, church damaged in Wednesday morning storms


National Weather Service reports trees down on two homes, as well as a barn blown down in the Mountain View area.

Roof damage reported on several other homes.

Highway 87 reportedly blocked by downed trees.

A wave of storms Wednesday morning damaged several homes and a church in parts of Region 8.

Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts said the damage occurred along Liberty Hill Road and Highland Cove Road in Highland.

According to the National Weather Service, the damage was due to straight-line winds and no survey will be done.

These strong winds came and went quickly, leaving many with nothing.

"It didn't last but 15 or 20 seconds but it destroyed a lot in that short time." Friendship Baptist Church Pastor Mike Stanley said.

Pastor Stanley was in his car when the heavy storms came in. He said the clouds quickly covered the sky and the winds picked up.

"It looked just look like a small tornado, with the wind and debris, the clouds," Stanley said. "It snapped off a pine tree by my truck and I just slammed my seat belt on and thought Lord just let me survive this."

At the same time across the street, 95-year-old Jane Stroud was sitting in her home.

Little did she know that within just a few moments, her house would be gone.

"It just got dark all at once and then all I knew it was going through the house," Stroud said.

Stroud stayed inside while the winds ripped apart her home.

"I did not move, I was sitting in my rocking chair and I rode it out," Stroud said.

After the storm passed, Pastor Stanley called 911 and tried to help any surrounding neighbors get out of their homes.

Mayor Russell Truitt said the new tornado sirens were never activated because there was no official alert for a tornado.

"There was several thunderstorm warnings in the area and we were standing by waiting and watching for more to happen. We had no warning," Truitt said. "It was just a quick little touchdown here and gone before we could do anything."

The strong winds shook up the neighbors in these two areas, but everyone is thankful no one was seriously hurt.

"Everybody is safe otherwise and this property can be fixed up," Stanley said.

The only injury for the day occurred during clean up. One man fell trying to repair a roof.

Family members told Region 8 News the man is undergoing surgery to fix some broken bones, but should recover.

Volunteers from the Red Cross came out to help those affected by the storms.

Several churches in the area are also collecting donations for the storm victims.

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