Strong winds and rain destroys several East Ridge homes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Strong winds and rain destroys several East Ridge homes

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A strong storm system traveled through East Ridge Monday afternoon and left behind some severe damage to homes and families near Altamaha Street.

At least eight homes have been damaged by strong winds and downed trees, three of those homes are destroyed.

"I was maybe five feet away from the back area where the tree fell," said Jordan Dodson.
    
Dodson was trapped inside his home after a tree crushed through the roof. The power was out but Dodson used his cell phone to call 911.
    
Police helped him escape through a side door that was barricaded shut.

"We ended up just hitting it through with an axe and just pushing through," Dodson said.

Dodson was not injured during the storm, but his is one of several families who no longer have a place to call home.

"And just seeing it all go away, it's devastating, absolutely devastating to me."

Just a few houses down the road, neighbors work to patch up a damaged home before it starts to rain again.

"We had a tarp to put over everything and some nails so we just got started you know," said neighbor Bobby Summit, "That's what it's all about, to help your neighbor."

One person was home at the time but got out safely.
    
Another tree is to blame for the damage, Summit says the storm only lasted 10 minutes but the winds were dangerous.

"The winds were so strong, it was at least 100 mile an hour if not more," Summit said.

Winds were strong enough to damage several homes along his street, block cars from traveling, and downed power lines throughout East Ridge.
    
Police Chief Mike Williams says emergency crews responded to more than 20 calls, but the rain wasn't over yet.

The Red Cross is helping 23 people find a place to stay after this storm and the Salvation Army is helping to provide extra clothing as well.

Chief Williams says it could take a few days before they know the full extent of the damages.



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