Trees smash homes, damage property in Etowah County


SOUTHSIDE, Ala. (WIAT) — Falling trees smashed homes and damaged property in Etowah County Friday, as another wave of storms hit central Alabama.

Most of the issues were reported in the city of Southside, where a large tree came crashing down on the home of an area pastor.

Friday afternoon, volunteers and members of The Tabernacle Church in Gadsden were hard at work trying to help their pastor pick up the pieces.

“Everybody just dropped what they were doing and came running, some from their jobs, some from home,” said Mike Garigues, an associate pastor at the church.

Garigues said Pastor Tommy Marshall and his family were in another part of the home when the tree came down. All are OK.

“It’s a miracle because the chair he is normally seated in, one of the major limbs went right through it. The part of the house that they are usually in is destroyed. God had his hand on them in this,” said Garigues.

Other trees damaged property in and around Southside. Cleanup crews were hard at work clearing a tree and debris from another home and a car parked at city hall.

Southside Mayor Wally Burns told CBS 42 that the city took more of a beating than in most storms.

“This afternoon we had a lot of evidently straight line winds and had a lot of property damage, had a lot of trees down,” said Burns.

Volunteers and church members continued to work late into Friday afternoon to help cleanup at Marshall’s home.

“It’s just part of the church, when somebody’s in need, everybody shows up. All it took was a couple of text messages and you see the response we’ve got,” said Garigues.

Despite the damage, no injuries were reported.

According to the Etowah County Emergency Management Agency, Southside, Gadsden, West Gadsden, Rainbow City, and Tilson Bend all suffered damage.

Crews planned to assess damage. To report any issues, call the Etowah County EMA at 256.549.4575.

 

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