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Lebanon sees damage from Tuesday morning storm
Aug 01, 2012 12:00 am
A thunderstorm raged through Wilson County between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Tuesday, knocking down trees and power lines.
According to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, by 6:30 a.m., more than 160 customers were without power.
While the storm could have been worse, the response of neighbors helping neighbors couldn't have been better.
A tree fell on Mildred Newsom's house across from Sam Houston Elementary in Lebanon. The large tree snapped in half and a good portion of it landed on her house. Newsom said she was awake when the tree fell.
"I was fine," Newsom said, adding that it looked like the only damage was to a few shingles on her roof.
Newsom was lucky that her friends, neighbors and fellow worshipers at Highland Heights Church of Christ turned out first thing to help her clean up the debris.
Lebanon Firefighter Tommy Chaffin was one of the people who turned out to help. He said the LFD had been out helping people after the storm. He noted that the storm had included hail. Chaffin was one of the people who wanted to make sure Newsom was alright.
"I just came to help," he said as he helped move a large limb out to the curb.
Ashley Johnson told Newsom he had spoken to her sister who was concerned about her, so he had come by to make sure she was alright.
"Have you had anything to eat?" he asked Newsom, reminding her he had brought her food and that she needed to eat in order to take her medications.
Gary Barrett of Macon County said he was only in Lebanon to take his wife to an appointment when he stopped to help. He was manning a chainsaw.
Newsom's minister Mike Grooms came by as the clean up progressed, noting that Newsom has a lot of people who care about her.
"She is a good friend," Grooms said. "She is well loved."
Newsom said she had already taken photos of the damage for her insurance company, so she was happy to see the chain saw at work and so many people coming by to help.
"They are really wonderful," she said. "They're my earthly family."
LPD Lt. Pat O'Brien said the storm was a lot stronger in Lebanon than it was near his home in Mt. Juliet.
"I've noticed the damage up here," he said. "I've been out driving around today and there is a lot of trees down back of the jail."
On Lealand Lane, siblings Jordan Blakemore, 16, Mike Blakemore, 16 and Sabrina Peterson, 15, were busy giving teenagers a good name as they came out after the storm to help their elderly neighbors.
Their proud mom, Jennifer Peterson said her children had really stepped up to the plate when it came to helping out.
"The storm woke us up and when we got up we saw what had happened. All the neighbors were out assessing the damage," she said. "All the adults were talking and we turned around and Jordan and Michael were walking down the street picking up everybody's trash cans."
Their sister, Sabrina, joined them.
"We cleaned up our mess and we noticed that a lot of seniors out looking at damage and wondering what they were going to do," their mom explained. "They just helped out and they just kept going from house to house."
Watching her kids in action, Jennifer Peterson came to the realization that every parents hopes to have - she was raising some good human beings.
"They're good kids. I guess I'm the proudest mom in the universe," she concluded.
Given that no serious injuries were reported, and a lot of people were helped by their friends and neighbors, the storm could have been a lot worse.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or via email at email@example.com