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Strong storms moved through northern Coffee County around noon Thursday, leaving behind a trail of damage that is particularly heavy in the Lakewood Park area.
The home of Pat and Gary Black on Lakeshore Drive in Lakewood Park suffered the heaviest damage in the area. Half of the couple’s roof is now laying in the front yard and the other half leaking water.
More trees were uprooted across yards down the heavily-populated street.
“It was thundering real hard,” explained Pat Black, holding back tears. “I heard the rain come down, so hard. Then I heard the wind blow and heard a sound … like a train whistle. I thought, ‘oh my God it’s a tornado.’ I jumped onto the bed and it came through there and took the roof. I got up and I held on because it was taking me. The door slammed behind me and I was looking for my dog (Tiger). I didn’t know if it took my dog or what. I just started praying and everything around me was blowing.
“I’ve seen it happen to other people and I thank God that it was no worse,” continued Pat Black, while petting her dog, which was unhurt.
Gary Black was at the post office at the time the storm rolled through, leaving Pat Black at home alone at the time of the storm.
“She tried to call and I couldn’t understand a word she was saying … I understand now,” he said.
The couple has home-owners insurance and a makeshift roof was being put together Thursday afternoon.
“We don’t really have anything to tarp,” said Mike White with Apex Restoration DKI out of Tullahoma, “no roof left to tarp. We have someone bringing materials and we will put a temporary frame up and tarp it. Right now the roof [that’s left] is leaking in the house. For now we will try to dry it in for them.”
National Weather Service forecaster Larry Vannozi said that Doppler Radar indicates that the damage was done by straight-line winds and not a tornado.
Read more in next week’s (Aug. 15) print edition of the Manchester Times.