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Freak localized storm uproots trees, damages property; no one hurt

Strong winds associated with a freak, localized storm, toppled trees, cut power and relocated a swing set on the property of Jeff Dionisopoulos on 140th Street just east of Faith Community Church. Tom Lindfors / RiverTowns Multimedia1 / 3
A freak, very localized, weather event with damaging winds struck the property of Judy Schultz around 1:00 a.m in the morning, Wednesday, June 14. High winds blew down a number of trees, damaged power lines and caused minor damage to her home. Tom Lindfors / RiverTowns Multimedia2 / 3
Judy Schultz woke up to the sound of a tree crashing into her home around 1:00 a.m in the morning, Wednesday, June 14. High winds blew down a number of trees, damaged power lines and caused minor damage to her home. Tom Lindfors / RiverTowns Multimedia3 / 3

A freak, localized weather event with damaging winds struck the properties of Judy Schultz and Jeff Dionisopoulos around 1 a.m. Wednesday, June 14. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The neighbors' properties border either side of 140th Street not far behind New Richmond High School and Faith Community Church. High winds blew down a number of trees, damaged power lines and caused minor damage to both homes; 140th Street was closed briefly while crews cleared limbs and debris from the roadway and worked to restore power.

Schultz said she awoke to the sound of tree limbs crashing into her bedroom window.

"There was a lot of wind and I just went to the basement," said Schultz.

She took cover in her basement until the storm passed. When she emerged, she found police vehicles out front on 140th Street and crews working on a downed power line in her driveway.

"There was a policeman there and they had the road blocked, so I would assume it was either a tree across the road or a power line down. When it was light enough to see, the power people came in here to check things out. I am so impressed with city utilities. They asked for permission to drive that big truck on my lawn. They were concerned about where my septic system was. I told them I have a mound system and gave them permission. There must have been a power line down because it took them a while to get everything reconnected over there," said Schultz. "It's like the storm went in a circle around my house. Some of the trees I lost were a couple centuries old. The folks from Save A Tree did a great job."

Another neighbor gave their version of the seemingly isolated event.

"I heard the wind going, woke up, the lightening hit, power went out and we walked outside and it was destruction," described Ariana Dionisopoulos.

The timing of the storm was unfortunate for the Dionisopoulos family.

"Our house is supposed to get listed tomorrow. We just closed on our new house," said Jeff.

"We have no idea what's going to happen. We're hoping insurance will cover some of this," added Ariana.

"The realtor was out here. She looked at it. There's nothing we can do until we get it cleaned up," said Jeff. "The thing that just blows my mind is, our house is right in the path of it, some shingles, a little bit of siding got loosened up. You would figure from looking at the rest of it, this house would be gone."

Due to a 75-yard wide swath of trees blown down by the storm, Jeff can now clearly see Faith Community Church from his back deck.

"We found a piece of wood from their playground here in our yard. The folks from the church always stop by as good neighbors and ask, 'Is there anything we can do?' We always answer, 'Nope, nothing.' I wonder what they'll think when they stop by this time," he said.

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