CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Catawba County declared a state of emergency Tuesday following the devastation from Monday night’s storm.
The steeple blew off the Royal Chapel Church on George Hildebran Road south of Hickory. Down the road from the church there are countless trees on houses, power lines, and trees blocking roads.
“The house is a mess, but I’m ok,” said Alverta Stephens.
She and her brother cleaned up insulation from the dining room floor. The ceiling fell through Monday night when a tree in the front yard slammed onto the house.
“I was watching the warnings on TV and I had got a warning on my phone to take cover now. I got my flashlight and cell phone and started down the steps. I was about three steps from the bottom when I heard the loudest noise I’ve ever heard. It sounded like a bomb,” said Stephens.
That happened on Providence Church Road. One street over, on Old Shelby Road, another tree fell on Mark Lail’s home.
“It tore down my front porch, my dormers, my gutters, and luckily no one was hurt,” said Lail.
"Who was home at the time?” FOX 46's Caroline Fountain asked.
“My 16 year old son had gone down to get his grandmother and little cousin and took them to the basement. He said he felt the tree shake when it hit. He thought the roof was coming in," Lail said.
As we drove around looking for more storm damage, we saw trees on power lines, others blocking the road. On Henry River Road we saw trees pulled up by their roots, others snapped in half. One landing on a children’s playhouse.
“It was filled with their cradle, highchair, and baby toys from when they were little. That probably breaks my heart the most. I can’t get in there and see. That hurts a lot,” said Bobbi Jones.
Clean-up will be a slow process. The homeowners we spoke with said they’re on a waiting list to get the trees removed from their homes.
The good news is that no one got hurt from last night’s storm, according to Catawba County officials. Everyone we spoke with said they already have their power back on.