GREENSBORO, NC - A nearly 60-year-old tree uprooted and fell on a house on Fortune Lane during a pop-up severe storm Friday afternoon. And despite the damage, neighbors found a moment to joke, laugh and hug each other as the shock wore off.
John Gregory lived in the house on Fortune for nearly 40 years. Friday afternoon, during the storm, he watched as one of the two massive trees in his yard slowly tipped over.
“It was kind of frightening. I was in my lift chair and looking out my window. It was scary,” said Gregory.
Alison Schwartz, a neighbor said she saw the tree fall and rushed out of her house to make sure no one was hurt.
“I didn’t hear it. I saw it. Everybody else said it was very loud. I don’ think I could hear it over my screaming cause I couldn’t believe it,” said Schwartz.
Gregory’s tree fell right in the middle of his house and his neighbor’s, with many branches landing on top of Linda Hughes’ home. The two have been neighbors for a couple of years, and Gregory was overwhelmed with regret when Linda finally came home.
Luckily, no one was injured. Hughes said if it had been any other day, the tree would have landed on her husband’s car.
“Normally my husband and my son would be home but luckily they weren’t.”
Gregory had the limbs on the tree trimmed a week prior to the storm.
“I’m just sorry the biggest impact was on my neighbor, Linda,” said the elderly Gregory, wrapping an arm around Hughes.
“No, that’s not true, you have a big hole in your roof!” said Hughes in a light, forgiving tone.
“Had a new roof put on. New gutters put on in the last few months,” he said, before adding that his wife jokingly reminded him about having the tree removed altogether.
“My wife, she’s been saying, she’d like for those trees to be down. I have another one over there. And I said, hey those tree have been there for 40 years they’re not going anywhere. So, she’s already reminded me,” he said, as Hughes laughed with him.
Hughes’s home was condemned, because a city building inspector couldn’t get inside to accurately assess the damage.
Schwartz’s husband and other friends offered to grab chainsaws and cut the tree and remove it for Hughes. Meanwhile, Gregory said he will probably have the other tree on his property removed.