GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — Crews continue to work to restore power to hundreds of homes in Etowah County after Tropical Storm Irma came through Alabama Monday afternoon.
Two homes in Gadsden were damaged by one large tree as wind gusts were believed to be responsible for a handful of downed trees in the area.
Carl Lackey was outside his Park Avenue home when the large tree came down on his roof.
“It didn’t get really bad until about 4:30, 4:45, and then it was a complete change it was real quiet for a few minutes and then the wind just started hitting in,” Lackey said
A mess of branches and limbs now blocks his front door. The home next door also has damage to the roof.
“There was this loud snapping noise and that’s one half of the tree fell and hit my house and then another 15 minutes later, the remaining part of the tree fell and hit the house next door to me,” said Lackey.
Etowah County emergency officials reported another tree on a home in the Coats Bend community. As neighbors in Florida deal with the aftermath of the storm, Lackey knows it could have been worse. He’s trying to look at the bright side.
“The good thing is I don’t have to cut my grass right now,” Lackey said.
Power remained on at Lackey’s house, but about 800 others were still dealing with outages as of Monday evening.
The Elliot Community Center in Gadsden remains open for those looking for shelter.
Strong winds and steady rain could be felt throughout most of Etowah County by mid afternoon.
City hotels were also filled with evacuees from Florida and Georgia. Vacant rooms across the region have been difficult to find because of the number of people evacuating.
Area churches in Gadsden helped bring meals to people staying at the Gadsden Inn and Suites.