Tree fall causes minor injuries, major damage

A front view of the house where Heather Morris and her niece were trapped for about an hour on March 18 after 88 mph winds ripped through Etowah County. Morris was in the house on the right; her mother owns both the houses damaged by the same falling tree.A front view of the house where Heather Morris and her niece were trapped for about an hour on March 18 after 88 mph winds ripped through Etowah County. Morris was in the house on the right; her mother owns both the houses damaged by the same falling tree.

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Mary Pollock sat on her front porch in the 1400 block of Forrest Avenue, feeling fortunate to have members of her family sitting safely near her as they looked across the street at two seriously damaged houses.

Five family members were inside the most seriously damaged of the two houses during the March 18 storm when a huge tree was blown over, crushing the back of one of the houses and damaging the house next to it.

“We were in the kitchen,” Pollock’s daughter Heather Morris said, speaking of herself and her niece. “It came right down on our heads. We were pinned in.”

Morris said she and her niece were trapped in the house for an hour. Oronde Hayes was also in the house. He and others managed to get out.

Pollock said the first she knew of what happened to the two houses, which she owns, was when Hayes came running across the street with a baby that had been in the house.

He was covered in blood, she said, and she was afraid it was the baby’s blood.

Pollock said she looked all over the baby and before realizing it was Hayes who was injured, when something struck him in the head, requiring staples to close the wound.

Neighbors tried to get to the trapped members of the family.

“They tried to kick the door in,” Morris said, but they couldn’t. Firefighters and medics were able to free them.

All the family members escaped with minor injuries, Morris said. Damage to the house was far more serious.

“We can’t stay there,” Morris said. Fortunately, they have her mother’s home to go to.

Pollock feels blessed to have them, knowing the outcome could have been much worse.

“The Lord knew what He was doing,” Pollock said. “He wrapped his arms around us.”

Red Cross representatives were at Morris’ residence the day after the storm, but in the immediate aftermath of the storm, she was not sure what assistance might be available for her and her family.

 
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