Storms carve destructive path through East Memphis

A large tree smashed into a roof of a big house on Shady Grove and Sweetbrier. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A large tree smashed into a roof of a big house on Shady Grove and Sweetbrier. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Different parts of Memphis saw scattered damage from a powerful storm blowing through the region Sunday morning.

Perhaps no other neighborhood was hit as hard as one in East Memphis, where crews are still cleaning up downed trees, a fire and several power lines.

Flames shooting from a roof on Wild Oaks Drive in East Memphis was caused by a powerful storm. A viewer video caught tense moments as neighbors watched the fire.

"We had a house that was struck by lightning," said Division Chief Carlos Newsom with the Memphis Fire Department. "Storm came through, caught the house on fire."

No one was injured in the fire, but a family of three is now without a home to stay. A half mile away, a large oak tree on Shady Grove Road brought down three power poles and active lines, affecting people several streets over.

"There's no power in this neighborhood, there's no power in that neighborhood," said Neil Abraham.

One block down, another tree slammed into a family's roof. William Shephard, 15, knew something was wrong when he woke up to a loud crash and walked down the hallway.

"There was this huge leak just coming through," Shephard said. "It looked like someone just turned on a faucet on the ceiling and it was just going straight down."

Shephard is going to listen to his mother more often after she told him to sleep in a different room Saturday night. His room was just feet away from where the tree fell.

"If the wind was still going that way just a little bit more that would have hit my room which was right there," Shephard said. "The roof could have collapsed on me."

For this young man, the storm taught an important lesson.

"It can happen anytime," Shephard said.

The rest of this East Memphis neighborhood is amazed at how concentrated Mother Nature's power was Sunday morning.

"I've been in and out of this neighborhood 45 years and nothing like this has ever happened," Abraham said.

Crews estimate it will take up to a day to return power to the neighborhood.

With the tens of thousands of dollars in damage, there were no reports of any injuries.

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