Local News

Raleigh Storm Victim: 'I'm Blessed to Be Alive'

Posted August 22, 2007 5:07 p.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2007 12:27 p.m. EDT

— The twists and turns of Tuesday’s storm might have saved Cathy Thomas-Jones' life. She was inside her Sunnybrook Road home when the storm blew in.

“Unlike Fran, I didn't hear anything, other than I felt a little tremble to the house,” she said.

All the large trees near Thomas-Jones’ house stood strong when Hurricane Fran hovered over Raleigh. But the latest storm splintered and uprooted them in less than five minutes.

The largest pine tree landed on her roof. Tree removal crews said the strange twisting motion kept it from crashing through her roof.

“The fact that the tree twisted and bent over the top of the house kind of spared us,” Thomas-Jones said. “Because otherwise, we might have been, you know, killed.”

She lives across from Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, where the storm snapped trees and caused other damage, including part of the roof over the stage area.

The weather canceled Tuesday night's concert. On Wednesday, crews scrambled to clean up and make repairs so shows could go on as scheduled.

Just a few miles down the road, another large tree crashed through Albert Ayers' attic. His wife was in a room just below the point of impact.

“For the damage and for what happened, I'm blessed to be alive and blessed my wife is alive. She's pregnant with my son,” Ayers said. “I'm happy everybody is alright.”