Effingham Co. residents begin cleanup after overnight storm damage

Effingham Co. residents begin cleanup efforts after storm

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Many Effingham County residents spent Thursday cleaning up from an overnight storm.

The county emergency agency said there was wind-related damage to homes, as well as downed trees.

The wind picked up a trampoline at a home on Burnt Tree Drive in Guyton where it landed in a nearby tree.

Strong winds caused damage to a home on Burnt Tree Dr. in Guyton.
Strong winds caused damage to a home on Burnt Tree Dr. in Guyton. (Source: WTOC)

The family said they had been planning to remove the trampoline from their yard when the storm came. They also had some damage to their pool and parts of a tree went into their living room and kitchen as they were trying to get out of the house.

Fortunately, everyone is OK.

A Tornado Warning was issued just after 3 a.m. Thursday but has since expired. At this time, it is unknown if it was a tornado. The National Weather Service Charleston said they will be sending a team to the area Friday to investigate the damage.

Residents in Cypress Cove saw severe damage from the storm. One homeowner said he was still awake when he got the alert of the tornado warning.

Demetrius McNeil said no more than three seconds after that alert, the house started shaking. He grabbed his family and headed downstairs into a closet.

McNeil says for about three minutes, he could hear glass breaking, strong winds, and the electricity went out.

“I want to say maybe about 60 percent of my fence is destroyed. I have two trees that fell, one in the backyard and one in the side. I have a lot of siding that came off the house. I have some old fashioned lamp posts, one in the front and one in the backyard. A lot of flying debris damaged...had some damage to my vehicles,” McNeil said.

During the cleanup, McNeil’s three kids are also doing virtual learning, so it’s been a busy and stressful day for the family. But they’re all grateful they got to the closet in time and everyone is safe.

Effingham Co. residents begin cleanup after overnight storm damage

Landscaping company helping residents

A local landscaping company heard about the storm damage and decided to bring in crews and equipment to help with the cleanup in Cypress Cove.

Start2Finish Landscaping went around the neighborhood asking how they can help.

There are a lot of houses with damage to their fences from downed trees. The guys brought out the chainsaws to start cutting branches and moving the trees.

Start2Finish is doing this all for free. The owner says after learning about the storm damage, he just wanted residents to know they’re here for them.

“We were here to come through for the families that need us,” Alfredo Kenney said. “God blessed me, and I’m blessing everybody else that needs it.”

The volunteers had a cleanup delay when the rain came through Thursday afternoon. If they can’t finish helping on Thursday, they said they will be they’ll be back Friday ready to help residents.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.