Damage in Garden City after second night of storms

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 9:21 AM EDT
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GARDEN CITY Ga. (WTOC) - More storms raged on Wednesday night. Over in Garden City, one family is picking up the pieces after a massive tree in their front yard fell on top of the home.

When this all happened there were two people in the home, luckily they’re both OK. They say they’re still shaken up and it’s just hard to believe that something like this happened.

The daughter of the woman who owns the home says this is where she grew up.

Billy Atkinson said it all happened around 10 p.m. She says she heard a crack and a snap and that’s when this massive tree fell on the front part of their home.

She says she was in her bedroom in the back of the house at the time. She says she immediately got up to check on her mom and animals.

The tree knocked down the porch and destroyed the bathroom and part of one of the bedrooms. Atkinson says she and her mom were able to get out through the back door. She says it sounded like a “bomb” went off when the tree hit their house.

“I heard loud banging and shaking. The house shook. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. It’s just memories going out the door, but I had good times in the house. Running around, everything else growing up,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson says they’re not sure if the house itself is salvageable, but that most of their belongings inside are. She says neighbors have been great and so kind helping them out. I even saw one bring them food and drinks.

She says a neighbor is also going to help get the tree off. Police, fire, and the Red Cross responded Wednesday night.

Dee and Brian Hughes heard the storm knocking down trees and power lines right at their doorstep.

“The wind was so strong things were falling on our roof and went into the hallway and started praying,” Dee Hughes said.

When Dee and Bryan walked out of their house to see the damage after the storm, they say only one word could describe their reaction.”

“Devastated,” the Hughes said. “There was a large branch blocking our walkway and the powerlines were down and we knew we couldn’t go outside.”

One lane was blocked off on Highway 80 as power crews worked to get their power back as their electricity was out for nearly 17 hours.

“So, it was very scary that the large winds and being blocked inside your house and you cannot get out.”

But they weren’t left to pick up the aftermath alone. Workers with Crystal Wrecker towing service volunteered to help.

“Well, we cut up a bunch of trees and tree branches and stacked them into piles so that we can put them in trailer and get rid of them. Just making their life easier,” Crystal Wrecker employee Brandon Shuman said.

“We’re blessed by God that we were not harmed. We were blessed that God answered our prayers, so we were fine, and the tree didn’t fall this way and on the house.”

The couple finding a silver lining despite the damage.

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