Tree damages truck and roof of house

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, April 23, 2009

By Staff
Wednesday’s wind gusts presumably to blame for harm
Managing Editor
Washington resident Rosa Gutierrez was just about to step into the shower around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when a loud thud and a shaking house quickly changed her mind.
Wondering what had happened, she threw on her clothes and rushed outside where she found a mature pine tree about 4 feet in circumference draped across the back end of a pickup truck in her driveway.
Wind gusts, which had pummeled the area all afternoon, were still swirling at about 30 mph as she examined the damage around her house at 102 Slatestone Drive.
The tree, uprooted from the far edge of her property presumably by wind, had reached all the way to the corner of her home’s roof, scattering branches along the way.
Gutierrez, who wasn’t hurt, was able to laugh at her reaction to the incident, though she admitted the thud rattled her.
Gutierrez’s husband, Raul Gutierrez, believes he was about a block away from turning into his driveway when the tree toppled.
By 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the couple were still waiting for authorities to arrive and examine damage to the truck and corner of the roof. Raul Gutierrez said he and his wife have owned the home on Slatestone Drive for about two years.
According to the National Weather Service office in Newport, winds at Warren Field Airport in Washington gusted to a high of 38 mph at 2:01 p.m. Wednesday and stayed near that range until 6 p.m. when they leveled out at 25 mph.
John Pack, coordinator of Beaufort County Emergency Services, said the area experienced minor power outages, and debris had temporarily blocked several roads.
Washington, itself, suffered no damage, he said.
Cutline for corresponding photo: Wind gusts are believed to have toppled a pine tree at 102 Slatestone Drive in Washington early Wednesday evening. The uprooted tree damaged the back end of a pickup truck adjacent the house and also clipped a corner of the home’s roof. No one was injured in the incident. (WDN Photo/Paul Dunn)