Wind gust delivers surprise to resident
Carol Thompson received an unexpected guest Saturday -- a large tree.
Unfortunately, though, it wasn't a Christmas tree.
About 6:50 p.m. Saturday, a tree fell on Thompson's house in the 200 block of West Second, causing damage to the roof, Thompson's bedroom and her front porch.
Thompson said she was in the living room at her computer, her dog by her side, when the tree fell. She said that in the past she would hear branches falling from the tree and on to her house.
When Thompson heard a loud thud Saturday, however, she knew it was something much different. Thompson said she "just froze" when she heard the loud noise.
She then opened her front door and was alarmed to find the tree blocking the entrance to the door on her front porch.
Moments later, Thompson's neighbor, Randy Gilliam, was climbing over the branches of the tree to check on Thompson. Thompson called her sister, Christy Angell, about the incident. Angell, who was on her way to the house, called Gilliam, asking him to check on Thompson, who lives by herself.
Tonganoxie Fire Chief Dave Bennett said Tuesday the tree's age, along with strong winds, were to blame for the damage.
"It was a combination of the tree being partially rotted at the bottom and high winds," Bennett said, noting that Tonganoxie experienced high winds Saturday.
Thompson was not injured in the accident. However, the damage to the front porch was especially disheartening. Siblings had built a new porch with a ramp and railing for Thompson, who is handicapped. Her family helped patch up the roof so that she could continue living in the house until permanent repairs are made, although the insurance adjuster found additional holes in the roof, Thompson said.
Another of Thompson's sisters, Cheryl Theno, owns the house, along with sister Connie Petrey. Theno said Tuesday she expected to hear from the insurance adjuster in the next few days regarding an estimate.
"I know it's a new roof and siding and bedroom walls because it did quite a little bit," Theno said referring to the damage.
Thompson said she was appreciative of the assistance she got from neighbors with flashlights, as well as Tonganoxie firefighters and police officers on the scene.