High winds bring down trees, displace students

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Sustained high winds Sunday caused some damage across central Ohio.

The wind ripped through Columbus and the surrounding area for hours tearing business signs from facades and pulling down trees all over the place.

Students attending the Ohio State University had a tree damage an apartment unit when it fell through the roof of the building.

Tia Lenhoff lives on the lower floor near the middle of the building and was in the shower when the tree fell.

“I heard a loud bang and all I thought was, “wow, that sounds like some really strong wind”,” said Lenhoff.

It wasn’t long before firefighters were at her door.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on,” said Lenhoff. “I heard walkie-talkies and then people saying that you know everybody needs to come out; and they told us basically we had to leave.”

A crew was brought in Monday to get the tree out of the building. Initially, it was quick work, but they soon need a crane to finish the job.

In the meantime, students living next door are without water, heat, or electricity.

Mackie Mantenikes, a student living in the building next door, says a single word sums up how she felt when she saw the damage Monday morning after returning to town; scared.

“I’m more worried for the people that live in this house and grateful that no one was seriously injured,” said Mantenikes.

In an amazing stroke of luck; a student was sitting at his desk when the tree fell through the roof into his room.

He says, he was nearly crushed with the tree trunk missing him by inches. The chemistry major walked away unscathed, and intentionally not thinking about how it all happened, or the statistics involved.

The landlord told NBC4 he plans to repair the damage to the building once the tree is out of the structure.

In the meantime, Lenhoff says she and the occupants of the 9 other apartments in the building have been contacted by Student Services.

Because of the emergency, she says as students, they can stay at Buckeye Village for a few days and have access to assistance from the Red Cross as well as they look for new lodging.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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