Macclenny cleans up after pulse storm

Tree falls on home, strikes 53-year-old man

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

MACCLENNY, Fla. - Macclenny is still cleaning up storm damage from Thursday's quick but powerful storm -- what some are calling a pulse storm.

Two families who live within just a couple of miles from each other got hit the hardest. Trees fell on each home, sending one man to the hospital.

"When it came, it came like a locomotive," resident Donald Thigpen said. "Like it came, it went. It was within a five-minute period."

Thigpen said he's used to severe storms in his small town but has never seen anything this bad.

"It tore up everything in my backyard," he said. "I've lived here all my life and it's the worst I've ever seen it in Macclenny in 51 years."

Not only did Thigpen's property get hit, a tree fell on the house across the street, sending the man who lives there -- Robert Dyer -- to the hospital. Karl Robson's uncle owns the house and Robson came to look at the damage Friday morning because his uncle is out of town.

He said Dyer is an elderly veteran who lives with his wife. Robson and his uncle were worried because they hadn't been able to track down Dyer, but he called Channel 4 Friday afternoon and said he was released from the hospital Thursday night. He said he is in a lot of pain and has a broken leg, but is recovering.

Dyer said he and his wife were staying in a hotel in Macclenny for now. He said they could be homeless as of next week because his landlord told him his insurance didn't cover fixing the the home.

The tree isn't the only damage to the home. There are downed power lines lying all across the yard and damage to the siding of the home.

Just a couple miles down the road a tree fell on Tod Weathington's home. This was not the first time the same tree fell on their house. Last year it split in half, causing one side to crash into his home.

On Thursday, what was left of the tree fell on a different part of the house. Weathington said he would have removed the tree last year, but it was too expensive.

"If it was so easy to take that tree down, I would have took it down a long time ago," he said.

"Macclenny is a good community," Thigpen said. "Everybody comes together and tries to help everybody out when they can. I'm just glad that the man there didn't get killed."

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.