Storm survivor recalls tree falling on home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Residents on the First Coast got an early start Tuesday cleaning up after an outbreak of severe weather.

On Monday afternoon, intense wind, rain and hail clobbered several neighborhoods and left behind widespread damage to cars and homes.

In the area of Emerson St. and Philips Highway, part of a massive tree fell right on top of a mobile home owned by Diane Farhat.

"We heard a real bad windstorm, and it was hailing. Then all of a sudden we had a tree limb on top of our trailer," she explained.

Farhat and her boyfriend were inside enjoying Memorial Day together with their dogs when the crash happened.

"There was a loud thud. It (the trailer) shook a little bit," she said.

Then, when they went outside after the storm passed, Farhat said they were in disbelief immediately. "I was like, 'Oh my God!'"

The tree trunk snapped near its base, which sent all of its branches and leaves hurling on top of the structure. Amazingly, it only lost power and sustained damage Farhat knows could have been worse.

She said, "It could have crushed the whole trailer. We could have lost our lives."

Farhat went on to explain the entire experience taught her how fragile life can be sometimes. "It taught me to be very thankful for what I have and never take it for granted."

Now, her boyfriend and friends are using chainsaws to cut the tree into pieces.

Farhat said clean-up and repairs should take a couple of days. She does not think she will have to move out in the interim, and she is hoping to have her power restored soon.

"Hopefully everything will be fixed. The tree can be removed and we can go from there. Hopefully everything will be like it was before," she said.


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