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Cleanup continues after Cleveland Heights microburst

Cleanup continues after Cleveland Heights microburst
Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 18:27:14-04

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — More than two days after a storm tore through several suburbs east of Cleveland, neighbors continue to clean up the damage.

Cleveland Heights experienced a microburst during Friday's storm, according to the National Weather Service. People there dealt with everything from roof damage and power outages to a garage fire.

Sheri Carey and her husband Brian spent Friday watching and waiting as the storm rolled through their neighborhood, bringing lightning that allowed them to see some of what was happening outside their house.

"We’re always concerned when it rains because there’s a lot of big trees and the limbs fall down," Carey said. "And then we heard a loud crash and we were very concerned if maybe a branch came out."

Carey said a limb from the oak tree in front of their house fell, piercing the roof, damaging most of the house's third floor and allowing rain to pour inside.

"I was just concerned that the ceiling was going to cave in," Carey said. "I was concerned for my daughter’s safety. It was kind of devastating."

Their teenage daughter was in her bedroom, a floor below, but wasn't injured. Carey said the house, built in 1911, will need quite a bit of work to repair it and return it to its original state, if possible.

All over Cleveland Heights, there are signs of the havoc the storm wreaked on houses and yards.

Lori Neiswander sent News 5 photos of her backyard before the storm, showing a two-story garage.

Cleanup continues after Cleveland Heights microburst
PHOTO: Lori Neiswander's garage before the storm.

That garage was destroyed Friday by flames after trees and a live wire fell into her backyard, Neiswander said. She noted that Cleveland Heights firefighters managed to get their cars out of the garage, but that many other things were lost.

Cleanup continues after Cleveland Heights microburst
PHOTO: Lori Neiswander said a live wire in the backyard caused her two-story garage to go up in flames.

"The CH fire crew was amazing containing what could have been much worse, and no one was hurt," Neiswander wrote in a text message. "People have been amazingly helpful."

Elsewhere in Cleveland Heights, generators sat on street corners, powering stoplights at intersections on Monday. Utility workers continued working to repair power lines and restore electricity to neighbors.

Cleanup continues after Cleveland Heights microburst
PHOTO: Utility workers repaired power lines Monday.

Aubrey McDaniel, a landscaper and Cleveland Heights resident, said he had been busy ever since the storm hit.

"I’ve barely slept," McDaniel said. "Yeah, I mean, we’ve been going."

McDaniel described the damage he saw on Friday evening.

"It was ridiculous. Like trees were ripped up from the root," McDaniel said. "Other trees had actually like toppled over and actually taken out the following tree, which knocked everything into the road, so it wasn’t just minor damage. It was very major."

McDaniel said the morning after the storm, he woke up to a lot of voicemails from people seeking help with tree removal and cleaning up the damage. In addition to the work for which he's being paid, McDaniel said he and his workers were also trying to help out where they could.

"If there’s a branch that’s still in the road, it’s impeding traffic, we go ahead and we just pull it out," McDaniel said. "That’s what we’re all doing, a lot of these tree companies. We’re not just here to make a buck and just breeze through. These are all people who live around here."

For Sheri Carey, this experience has highlighted the willingness of her neighbors to help one another out in a time of need.

"People are doing things like that: 'Does anyone need me to come over? I’m OK, but does anyone need help with a chainsaw?' Things like that," Carey said.

She described that as "the Cleveland Heights spirit."

"So that’s why we love living here," Carey said.

RELATED: Cleveland Heights experienced microburst during Friday's storm