Dangerous winds wreak havoc throughout area

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The owners of a house in Levittown, Bucks County had to work quickly after a large tree crashed through the roof.

It happened on Balsam Road just after 11:00am Saturday morning.

The residents used plywood and tarps to cover up the gaping hole. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Seven people who lived in the home are forced to sleep elsewhere Saturday night and probably for a few nights to come.

Near misses for many people, but straight on hits for their property.

"It sounded like a freight train going through my house," said homeowner, Cheryl McBride.

But this was no freight train. It was an enormous tree that came crashing through this West Chester home.

The tree sliced straight through the roof, one of its limbs shot into this bedroom, stopping exactly at the head of the bed where, thankfully, no one was sleeping.

Cheryl McBride was home alone in the shower when the tree came down.

"The bathroom is the room next to my daughter's where the tree went down and when all the noise was done, I was still standing in shower and I was okay," explained Cheryl McBride.

The home sustained extensive damage. Crews worked into the night clearing away debris.

While the McBride's will have to stay with family for the foreseeable future, they're grateful nobody was hurt.

"It's a little devastating to lose your house and know that we're going to have to live someplace else for a while," said McBride.

Meanwhile in the Juniata section of Philadelphia, on Second Street near Erie, the force of the wind brought a stretch of a cinder block wall tumbling down.

The back window of a Subaru was bashed in from the blocks.

Over in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, a massive 150 year old oak tree came plunging into the Parry family's home.

They say the tree was already unstable since work crews for the development being built behind their property cut into its roots.

The Parry's say they were assured the tree would remain standing, but it didn't survive these gusts.

Branches burst through the windows, the walls cracking under its weight. The clean-up is underway, but the damage is done.

"This entire back half of the house will have to be replaced. It's just totally compromised, and three of the rafters holding up the roof cracked, and they are not even together, they are like spread out. So I guess the entire roof structure will have to be replaced," explained Valerie Parry.

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