Ortega homeowners clean up storm damage

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Several homes felt the brunt of the bad weather Thursday in the Ortega Farms area.

Those in Ortega Village were picking up the pieces Friday, cleaning up their yards and homes after their neighborhood was hit hard with bad weather.

"That tree would have gone through me. Grace of God, somebody is watching me that I wasn't in there," said Donna Ustinovich, whose home was damaged.

Ustinovich lives in a home on 118th Street with four other people. Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, a large tree came crashing down on her house. Luckily no one inside got hurt.

"Me, I'm still shaking," she said. "It's going to take a while."

Ustinovich said her homeowners insurance needs about 24 to 48 hours before it decides how much damage has been done. She said she just did renovations to the inside of her home. She is staying somewhere else this weekend because she doesn't have anywhere else to stay.

"To go in my room, it's dangerous because the stresses have snapped, that whole thing can come down on me," Ustinovich said.

Another home in the same neighborhood got hit hard, too.

"Apparently she has an infant and it just missed the baby," one resident said.

A tree removal company was taking care of the problem there, but families say they are shaken up by what happened.

Just down the road off Blanding Boulevard on Townsend Road, another homeowner had a close call. A tree fell across his driveway feet from his home.

Let this serve as a reminder that it's the middle of hurricane season, so check your yard for weakened and potentially dangerous trees so something like this doesn't happen to you.

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