PLEASANTVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — It only takes seconds for a storm to cause major damage, but that wreckage could take months to clean up — and parts of central Ohio have been pummeled by storms in the last few weeks.
Fairfield County was one of the hardest hit Wednesday night.
“A lot of big trees fell down — had one on the house. Doesn’t look like it damaged the house. Didn’t hit any of the cars, thank goodness,” said Denver Bird, who was helping a family member clean up dozens of fallen trees.
A short stretch of homes on State Route 188, on the south end of Pleasantville, took the brunt of the wind.
“It sort of sounded like the roof was wanting to come up off the house, almost. Real loud, sort of like a freight train, and you know it came and went pretty quick,” Bird said.
Bird was referring to his son-in-law’s family. A family who has lived on the land for decades.
“Since the fifties, 1950s, and we’ve never had anything like this happen,” said Colton Hill, whose brother now lives in the home with his family.
His grandfather planted many of the trees on the land. ”There was maybe one or two trees on the property when he bought the place,” he said.
Hill’s grandfather bought the home originally — and planted his family and dozens of trees there. Now, his family is working to restore it.
“We’re family. We’re very family-oriented. That’s what families do, they help each other out,” said Bird.
Hill said they were all just glad the home was still standing.
Next door where they share a driveway, the Bender family was embarking on a similar mission. Three generations of Benders were chopping, cutting and stacking wood into the bed of a pickup truck.
“Not too much damage. Some stuff fell on the house, but a lot of it is spread out through
the yard,” said 16-year-old Ryan Bender, the youngest family member.
The Bloom-Carroll High School student was on spring break at home when he got the call about the cleanup effort. His father Paul owns several rental properties, including the one on S.R. 188 hit by the storm.
“Honestly, I was bored at home, so I’d rather be doing this than sitting at home,” Bender said.
The road the two homes sit on was closed for more than 24 hours while utility crews restored cable and power. While it was accessible by Thursday night, the end of the road for the two families’ cleanups are still a distance away.