GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - WTOC’s First Alert Weather Team recorded wind gusts of over 60-miles-per-hour throughout our area on Friday.
In Garden City, trees crashed down onto two homes. Both instances happened off of Azalea Avenue, on Nelson Avenue and Ansford Drive.
Friday’s storms came knocking right on the Sheffields’ doorstep.
“It was really sunny and calm and then within 20 seconds, there’s a tree in the house.”
Chrissy Sheffield and her mom, Linda Beach, showed WTOC just how close they came to danger. Just 15 minutes before, Sheffield’s nephews and nieces were playing in the backyard that the tree has now engulfed. Their noses were on the glass of the window as the tree snapped.
“I said 'Mom, you’ve got to see this, you’ve got to see this,” Chrissy Sheffield said.
“The both of us had our faces pressed up against the glass, looking in the back yard,” Linda Beach said. “There were branches flying and leaves blowing everywhere. Leaves were just swirling.”
That’s when the larger-than-life oak tree snapped, coming within inches of where Chrissy and Linda were standing.
“It was really, really loud,” Chrissy said. “There was this huge ‘thud.’ All of the pictures and all of my decorations in the house just fell when the tree hit the house.”
“It just fell right at the door we were standing at,” Linda said. “It took us a second, and I literally had to grab her and throw her on the ground because she was frozen.”
“You know, we were just standing at the door. I mean, this tree is broken in half against the glass," Chrissy said. "That tree could have come through the door and we were right there, so I just lost it. I started crying, she was comforting me. I think that distracted her, too.”
“We went from sunshine and no wind to gusts of 70 miles-per-hour wind and a tree in my roof.”
The top of the tree did go through the attic. Now, buckets and towels are catching most of the water falling through the house.
“It’s coming out of the light fixtures and out of the vents,” Chrissy said. “Pretty much, it rained into the attic, so anywhere that there’s a hole in the roof, it’s just coming through into the house.”
The close call with disaster is shifting the family’s perspective.
“You know, a tree falling on your house? That’s the least of our worries right now. I just feel lucky to be alive,” she said.
Both mom and daughter say it’s so important to have a safety plan in place. They didn’t before, but this changes things.