Breaking News
More () »

Thunderstorm microburst causes severe damage in West Columbia

"I was very shocked. I was outside for a few minutes and the next thing you know, the wind just was flattening the trees."

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a short thunderstorm microburst Tuesday afternoon, residents in West Columbia were left to pick up the pieces Wednesday. 

The aftermath of the storm included a 50-year-old hickory tree falling on top of homeowner Ed Welch's roof. The branches caved into his attic and living room. 

Welch said there's roof damage, as well as possible damage to the sheet rock, ceiling, walls and electrical infrastructure.  

"I didn't actually hear the tree fall," Welch said. "Only when I went back into the living room did I see that I had a big hole in the ceiling and noticed that there was water gushing in." 

RELATED: Large hail Sunday causes damage in the Midlands

Thankfully, Welch had church friends in the tree service business he could call on to be pushed to the front of the line for emergency.

"(We) cleaned up the water that was on the floor, cleaned up any of the insulation that had come out of the ceiling, the living room, there was water coming out of the ceiling, the ceiling fan, so the water and we had to cut the power off to that room," Welch said.

One woman living on Decree Avenue tells News 19 she came home from work to a large tree branch on her roof and her 50-foot-tree in the backyard completely uprooted. Taylor Harrison said her neighbor met her to help as soon as she got home.

"I was fortunate that this tree fell in the perfect spot," Harrison said. "It missed a shed, it missed power lines, it didn't hurt my dogs. I have two dogs that were here by themselves."

RELATED: New stop signs slow traffic in West Columbia

Harrison said she plans to give back to her neighbors and offer them free firewood after her yard crew comes to help her clean up.

The tree service company worked to cut off branches from Welch's tree from 7:30 this morning until 2:00 this afternoon. 

They covered the roof with tarp because more rain is expected later this week. 

Tomorrow morning a crane will remove the tree trunk from the roof of the house.

Before You Leave, Check This Out