The lights went out. There was a loud thunk.
Then Karen Nelson heard the sound of water rushing inside her family’s two-story home near Tenino.
“I’m using my phone as a flashlight to figure out what happened,” Nelson recalls of Thursday evening. “… It was insane.”
A 125-foot Douglas fir tree had crashed into the home during Thursday’s intense thunderstorm.
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Thanks to homeowners insurance, she and her husband Bob and their children, ages 4 and 6, have temporary shelter at an extended stay hotel. Crews worked Friday to put a tarp over the mess so no more water could get through, Nelson said.
The family has lived in the 2,996-square-foot home at Mima Acres for about five years.
The tree went through the bathroom and a closet and destroyed the living room, Nelson said.
Not long before it fell, her son was upstairs, playing on a tablet.
“The wind started really picking up, and he started getting scared, so he came downstairs,” she said. “...(He was) like literally two feet from where this happened.”
They’ll find out next week the extent of the damage, and repair costs.
“Since it went through the floor joist on the bottom, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Nelson said.
Apartment building crushed
Dean Atkins, who lives in Lakeview Village on the east side of Long Lake, said lightning struck a tree Thursday night, causing it to fall on the apartment complex.
“It just exploded,” Atkins said. “It flew everywhere.”
The main portion of the tree hit units in the middle of the building. Everyone made it out safely, but a few units are uninhabitable.
He also saw what appeared to be a water spout on the lake.
“The storm was going off like everybody knows, and all of a sudden there’s a waterspout coming off of Long Lake,” Atkins said.
Some Lacey homes also had damage from the storm. A large tree fell into College Pointe Apartments, in the 4600 block of 45th Avenue Southeast in Lacey.
Olympian reader Karen Strand of Lacey said her granddaughter lives in that complex.
“It was one right next to her,” Strand said. “Also there were a couple of cars that were crushed — a car and a truck.”
Trampoline takes a ride
Near Tenino, Shelly Bergin said the storm picked up her son’s 15-foot trampoline and blew it about 500 yards from their backyard into a nearby field.
“It was definitely lifted and carried,” she said. “The wind was just howling.”
The trampoline, which was set up about two weeks ago, is now shaped like a taco, but Burgin is hoping they can repair it.
Their family has lived in their home in the Scatter Creek Ranch development for nine years, and they’ve never experienced such an intense storm, Bergin said.
“It was crazy,” she added. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
Cider mill loses trees
Carolyn Lattin, owner of Lattin’s Country Cider Mill on Rich Road Southeast, said the storm took down 22 trees on her property and broke the tops of seven others.
“Our beautiful pink dogwood fell down,” she said.
None of the structures at the mill were damaged, but Lattin said it’s going to be a huge mess to tackle.
“This looks like the ice storm (damage),” she said. “It’s really been a tremendous storm.”