Falling tree narrowly misses Summerville home during Sunday night storms

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A Summerville couple says even though a powerful storm system caused big damage on their property, they consider themselves lucky.

Jennifer Pelayo and her husband heard and watched a tree right next to their house come down while they were watching the storm.

"Two portions of our fence are completely gone, so we'll have to have those rebuilt," Pelayo said. "It took out our shed roof, so that's going to have to be replaced."

The tree didn't hurt the couple's house other than one broken window, but it fell right on top of their cars.

The fallen tree also fell on a power line, which created a huge safety risk in their backyard.

"For about four hours last night, it was sitting here on my husband's car, so we couldn't go anywhere with the rain and the puddles," Pelayo said. "It was just too dangerous."

The area where the tree fell, now lined with caution tape, has remained untouched while the couple gives insurance time to inspect the property."

"The tree is huge, it was probably five stories tall, so it's going to be a lot to deal with, and we're kind of nervous about that," Pelayo said.

The couple has raised concerns about the structure and stability of the tree for a while. It sits on their neighbor's property, but they've noticed it's been hollow for quite some time.

Pelayo said she's brought up the possibility of rot in the past, which she can now clearly see because the tree's trunk is fully exposed.

"It still was green, it still had growth, so we didn't think it would come down any time soon, let alone in a minor storm like last night, but it did," Pelayo said.

Pelayo said the tree was removed Monday, but now the couple is trying to work with insurance to figure out the financial details.

On Friday, the Live 5 First Alert Weather Team designed Sunday as a First Alert Weather Day because of the potential of severe weather from a strong cold front. On Sunday morning, the Storm Prediction Center increased the risk threat for most of South Carolina, predicting the possibility of widespread thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.

On Monday, the National Weather Service confirmed multiple tornadoes touched down in central South Carolina.

Meteorologists said an EF2 in the Gilbert area of Lexington County on Sunday. An EF1 tornado was confirmed in Fairfield County from northeast of Ridgeway to the western shores of Lake Wateree.

The Tri-County area was under a tornado watch for most of Sunday, but it was canceled shortly before 8 p.m. that evening.

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