Strong winds bring down trees, damage homes in Memphis

Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 9:38 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Strong winds left several homes damaged and thousands without power in Memphis, with East Memphis neighborhoods taking the brunt of the damage.

Multiple trees were brought down, some of them over 100 years old, according to residents.

“This unfortunate weather came through and took out a 100-year-old oak tree,” said Jared Pieper, Owner of Arbor Country Tree Service.

Pieper was called to a scene off Walnut Grove Road by a customer.

On New Year’s Day, he only had a skeleton crew.

“Right around when the winds came through, around 9:30-10ish, I got several calls on my phone. This one was the most pressing,” Pieper said.

The massive tree just on St. Andrews Fairway, just off Walnut Grove Road, came crashing down, taking Pieper and his team nearly four hours to move and clear the roadway.

“We weren’t expecting the work, but for something like this I’ve got to help out,” he said.

Many neighborhoods shared similar scenes, trees crashing through homes , blocking roadways, and leaving several thousand without power.

A couple miles away off North Perkins, cleanup was in full swing with cranes brought in to lift trees off homes.

“It was just intense wind and pressure inside of the house coming through the open windows,” said Darris Ware.

Ware told us he had just sat down for a late breakfast when the storm started.

He had his kitchen windows open because of the unseasonably warm weather, and then the wind picked up.

Ware said it only lasted minutes before passing but not before bringing down this tree, and he couldn’t even see it happen.

“There was so much rain and debris just flying around that as soon as I saw that I backed away from the window and told them we need to get to the middle of the house,” Ware.

Fortunately, that particular tree only left minor damage to vehicles and power outages, missing Ware’s home by a few feet.

“We got very lucky,” he said.

At last check, more than 3,000 people remain without power going into Saturday night.

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