The deluge of February rains continued this week, saturating the already soupy grounds in Orange County’s low-lying areas, creating ripe conditions for tall trees to fall.
Early Thursday morning, Ida Louise Turner E. Lawson, 78, was jarred awake by a large tree falling on her small house, punching holes in the roof.
“The tree hit so hard, I thought the world was coming to an end,” said Lawson, who is retired. “But God was with me.”
Lawson said she went to the front of her house and didn’t see anything. When she stepped into her kitchen, she saw branches. It was around 6 a.m. Aside from a headache from the sound, she was otherwise unharmed by the incident.
A longtime resident of Hillsborough, Lawson’s home in the Fairview Community was fully renovated in 2013 through the Community Development Block Grant Program, which provided funds for low-income people to have their homes rehabilitated. Lawson’s oldest daughter, Quanda Turner, said an inspector on the scene earlier told her the home’s cinder block structure prevented further damage.
A tree removal company, equipped with a large crane, cut and removed the fallen tree. As a precaution, Turner had five other trees near the home removed or trimmed.
“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.
While her house is being repaired, Lawson said she will take turns staying with each of her five grown daughters. But ultimately, she said she doesn’t want to be a burden on her children.
“I like my independence,” Lawson said while watching the crew cut branches with chainsaws. “I just want to get back into my house.”