Hours after a destructive microburst toppled massive trees in the north Columbia neighborhood of Greenview on Tuesday, residents were thanking God for blessings.
By Wednesday, those same folks were praying for patience as they waited for insurance adjusters to arrive, for electricity to return and for busy contractors to clear trees off their roofs.
“I’m waiting for them to come over here,” said Deborah Etheridge, pointing to young men attacking a pine tree on a neighbor’s roof with chain saws. “But I don’t want them to rush. Do it right so there aren’t more problems later. They can take all the time they want. There are places I can go stay.”
At least 21 houses in the Greenview neighborhood suffered serious structural damage when a microburst dropped out of a line of thunderstorms in the early morning hours on Tuesday. At least two homes in the North 21 Terrace neighborhood nearby were condemned.
The microburst was not a tornado, according to the National Weather Service. When a tornado hits, trees and debris are scattered in a full 360 degrees, according to Steven Naglic, a meteorologist at the Columbia office. By contrast, a microburst leaves debris fanned out in one general direction, which is what happened in Greenview.