MARYVILLE (WATE) – Gary O’Hara, is still cleaning debris from his property after storms battered East Tennessee communities Saturday night.
His property received extensive wind damage, primarily due to a large pecan tree that destroyed two sheds and lifted a third shed 10 to 15 feet into the air.
“We couldn’t see until this morning, but woke up to this mess…” said O’Hara. “You can see what happened, the sort of devastation.”
Despite the damage, O’Hara says he’s just thankful to be alive. He often spends time tinkering in his workshop, one of the sheds that were completely crushed.
It’s unclear how many of his belongings inside are damaged. His workshop housed many tools as well as his childhood wheelbarrow. The other shed held family heirlooms his mother left for him.
“If it would help, I’d just cry. But I knew it wouldn’t help,” said O’Hara.
O’Hata said he watched the storm from the back window of his car, thinking surely the trees swaying in the wind would snap.
O’Hara says he doesn’t know what he’ll do to remove the tree as of yet, although he isn’t planning to move it on his own due to safety reasons.
Homes in the Hoops Avenue area are also cleaning up trees, fallen limbs, and debris from their properties.
Thousands were without power on Sunday night, still waiting for lines to be fixed.
“It was a disaster area in this whole area. It blew my mind. From what we seen last night to what we see today, it was just bad,” said Joseph Tipton.
Tipton says he helped his neighbors clear debris from the street and their driveways all Sunday.
“It’s definitely the Volunteer state. Everybody’s been out here giving a hand to each other, it’s been pretty nice for the situation that it is.” Said Tipton.
Two blocks from Tipton, another neighbor says they had 40-50 friends, community members, and strangers stop by her home to help with clean up.
“I just feel incredibly blessed. I feel that God has provided us the support that we need to get through it,” said Annette Tidwell.
Three trees fell on the roof of the Tidwell house. Tidwell says the home was for sale and no one was living in it at the time, there weren’t any injuries.