Tim and Angie Burton were in bed when they heard the sound of breaking glass and the loud crunch of metal coming from the driveway, just outside their bedroom window.
Tim Burton’s pickup truck was totaled by a massive tree that had blown over as storms rolled into Johnson County on Monday night. The tree fell on the cab of the truck, flattening it, just 10 yards away from the house.
“We were glad it wasn’t the house,” Angie Burton said. “When you live somewhere like this, you learn to deal with it. There was no need to panic.”
The couple decided to move their other vehicle to the backyard, away from the other trees that line their driveway. But then, Angie Burton heard the sound of flowing water, just like in the 2008 flood. She looked out back and saw the backyard flooded. And they moved their vehicle again, toward higher ground.
Friends came over to the couple’s home near Edinburgh on Tuesday morning with chainsaws. One section at a time they cut the tree down and carried limbs and pieces to a pile in the driveway. Tim Burton was supposed to drive to Chicago that day for work but instead was driving his tractor around, cleaning up the mess.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen since the flood of 2008,” Tim Burton said.
In Edinburgh, limbs and trees were down in multiple areas of the town, and residents on the south and east sides were without power after the storm Monday night, utility director John Drybread said.
“This type of weather is common, and it’s not really the worst we’ve had around here,” Edinburgh Fire Chief Allen Smith said. “We know where the bad spots can be, but the biggest problem we’ve had has been power lines down.”
Edinburgh Power and Light had to remove more than a dozen limbs that had been caught in power lines, causing an outage, Superintendent Kevin Rubush said. Employees assisted residents Monday night until nearly 4 a.m. Tuesday, he said.
Drybread said he knew of three homes and an apartment building that were damaged by trees.
Just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, Susie Burton was startled by a loud crash and the sound of water dripping in the kitchen of her home on Glasgow Drive.
A tree in the backyard had blown over and crashed into the roof above the kitchen. Several tree limbs pierced the roof, allowing rain to come in and leaving almost 2 inches of standing water in their kitchen, she said.
The tree blew onto the roof less than 10 feet from the couple’s bedroom, where their 7-year-old grandson was lying with them because of the storms, she said.
“I woke up real quick when I heard thunder, and then I heard it hit the roof,” Susie Burton said. “Thank God it didn’t go through the roof any further to the left.”
The tree destroyed the canopy over the back patio and left several other holes in the roof, she said. The couple and their grandson had to leave the house and stay with relatives. The next day, they were moving limbs and sticks to the front yard.
“I’ve seen people who have had their house destroyed by a tree, but it just doesn’t really affect you until it’s your house,” Susie Burton said.
Nearby, Jerry Eisenmenger was cleaning up the remnants of the storm in his front yard.
Eisenmenger said he went to bed around 10 p.m. but never fell asleep because of the wind and rain hitting his bedroom window and side of his house. The gutter on the front door of his home was snapped in half, and it was raining so hard that about an inch of standing water came in under the door, he said.
“I’m 53, I’ve never seen a tornado, but I’ve lived through some storms; and that was about the wildest storm I’ve ever lived through,” he said. “Usually I’ll have some limbs in my yard after a storm, but never anything like this.”