Storm victim: 'I'm alive, thank God that's the biggest thing'

House on Milnor Drive (Source: WMC Action News 5)
House on Milnor Drive (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A tree fell on top of this car (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A tree fell on top of this car (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds moved through the Mid-South late Thursday night and early Friday morning.

Following the storms, many residents were counting their blessings and cleaning up.

Damage reports

The storm that swept through Memphis left damage in its wake. Strong winds pulled down trees and power lines, leaving wreckage across the area.

Mobile users, click here to see photos of the damage.

Trees fell on a home near the intersection of Milnor Drive and Scheibler Road. An older couple had to be evacuated, but they are both OK.

Power lines fell onto a home on St. Elmo Avenue near Trudy Street. It's unclear whether anyone was in the home.

On Cameo Avenue, a tree pulled down several more trees across multiple front yards. A car was damaged, but no injuries were reported.

"My sister called and said, 'Your tree came down,'" Jacqueline Walker said. "And my brother-in-law, I guess they called me. Where is it? I looked and part of it had come through the house, bathroom, upstairs of the kitchen in the corner."

Still, Walker is thankful no one was hurt.

"I just said, 'Thank you for life.' I said, 'Praise God.' Because I was saying, 'Jesus, Lord,' the whole time this was going on. I said, 'Lord Jesus, please protect me.'"

Another tree fell on a car on Kerwin Avenue. Though it may take time for the homeowners to clean up the damage, they are thankful no one was hurt.

On Craigmont Drive, trees toppled onto a home with people inside. The family was able to escape unharmed.

On Gatewood Drive, a tree fell on a home, narrowly missed another, then crushed a silver Lexus. Three people were inside the home at the time, and one had to be rescued. All of them appear to be OK.

Some viewers reported dime-sized hail in Tipton County and neighboring areas.

Couple trapped in home after tree falls

A tree fell on a house on Milnor Road, blocking the hallway of the home.

The couple in the home said they were watching television in their bedroom Thursday night when the tree fell. Raymond Williams said they heard thunder and he got up from the recliner to get a flashlight.

"Next thing I know, I heard rooms cracking everywhere," Williams said. "The chair I was in, the tree came on that chair and pushed all the way over so if I had been in that chair I would've been hit by the tree itself."

When the tree crashed through the home, it trapped his wife, who uses a wheelchair.

"I couldn't get her out, so I had to call 911 fire department," Williams said. "I had to crawl, because I wanted to open the door so they didn't break the door down."

He said his wife did call out to him and let him know she was OK.

Williams said it was his military training that allowed him to stay calm during the situation.

"I'm retired Navy and they teach us to handle critical situations," he said.

Their house was actually hit by two trees. One from the yard next door and one from their own backyard.

"I'm alive. Thank God, that's the biggest thing."

A Raleigh family is counting its blessings after a tree came crashing through their home.

"I"m alive. Thank God that's the biggest thing," John Boyd said.

Boyd said it's a miracle that he came through it with only a knot on his head.

Boyd, his wife, and his child were inside their home when a huge tree took out half of the house.

Fortunately, Boyd heard the siren go off and he moved from the bedroom.

"If he had been two feet to his left, I don't think he would be here today. He was really lucky," Robin Wingardh said.

Boyd was trapped under debris and knocked unconscious, but he was rescued by firefighters.

Boyd's co-worker showed up for support.

"My boss called me and said John called and said he had a tree on his house," said Bill McAllister, who, once he saw the damage, couldn't believe how lucky it was that his friend wasn't hurt worse.

McAllister smiled as he described how Boyd woke up after being knocked out.

"He woke up with his dog licking his face. He looked up and saw stars," McAllister said.

Residents in the area said the age of the trees is a cause for concern when storms come through.

"We are concerned around here because we have some big older trees, so there's a possible chance of ice can break some," neighbor William Knox said.

Be prepared

Keep yourself prepared in the advent of severe storms with the First Alert Weather App.

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