Storm Damage Forces a Visalia Family to Move

May 29, 2009 5:58:09 PM PDT
A Visalia family is moving to a new home after Thursday night's storm caused major damage to their house.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Tom Pollard is happy his house is only a rental. He describes a massive oak tree falling on the home as one quick sound.

"It's just a Wooo! That's all I remember and then the dirt came down and it knocked me out in these shelves over here," said Pollard.

Tom was opening his side door, which is now completely crushed ... when an oak tree right next to his house fell. He says he heard a big rumble and told his 16-year old daughter to stand back. The next thing he remembers is waking up against the wall.

"I was laying inside here back against the shelf and then my daughter was just ballistic she thought it had killed me," said Pollard.

Pollard suffered several bruises to his back.

"Oh man it's just something really I don't want to go through it again that's for sure," said Pollard.

On the other side of town, one woman rushed home during the storm to find a canopy from her driveway had toppled on to her lawn, knocking down a basketball net and some bushes.

"We took the tarps off and everything was just turned upside down," said Eva Yukich.

Firefighters say public works crews spent the day cleaning up smaller debris and fixing power lines that they weren't able to get to Thursday night.

For four hours lightening, thunder, strong winds and rain rocked the Central Valley. Fire officials say they were flooded with about 100 calls into their emergency operations center. City crews were trying to pick up trees that fell in the middle of busy roads.

Visalia Fire Battalion Chief Danny Wristen said, "Just myself driving around town to some calls I've never seen anything like that here in the Central Valley every direction you drove there was lightening and the wind gusts of 60 mph."

Tom and his daughter will be staying with friends as they work on moving into a new home.

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