Storm Damage in Oak Cliff Shocks Neighborhood

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Severe storms ripped through Oak Cliff Monday, causing a lot of damage in several neighborhoods. (Published Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014)

    Hail and high winds ripped trees from the ground on Monday, tossing them into yards, streets, cars and homes.

    "It sounded like a train coming right at me or at my house, and I jumped up and thought, 'What is going on?'" resident Ragland Crenshaw said. "It sounded like gunshots, just gunshot – pop, pop, pop, pop."

    The wind uprooted a giant tree and sent it into Crenshaw's neighbor's truck on Weehaven Drive. It's just one of several smashed cars NBC5 found in the area bound by Oak Park Drive, South Polk Street and Town Creek Drive.

    Fred Lovely helped clean up a massive tree in his aunt's front yard.

    "Wow, wow. I didn't think it was this bad," Lovely said.

    Lovely grabbed a chain saw and, along with his friend, worked to clean up the mess.

    Just down the road, Vickie Floyd-Stinnette surveyed the damage after a tree crashed through her roof.

    "It was horrible, it was horrible," Floyd-Stinnette said.

    She was home with her four grandchildren and husband when the hail and winds picked up. Water seeped in through the hole in her roof and cascaded down the walls and through the light fixtures in her hall.

    "With these beautiful old trees coming down like this, it's hard. It's really hard, but I know we all going to get through it," Floyd-Stinnette said.

    The area around Oak Park Drive was crawling with workers Tuesday offering to clean up, but a warning for those looking for a quick, cheap fix.

    "During these storms, a lot of these guys will get in their pickup trucks with chain saws and start hitting all areas, and they're not trained or equipped to do it. And that's when people get hurt because the trees are under a lot of stress, and it's dangerous. And there's electrical wires, and something happens and they're not insured properly. That's when customers can be liable," said Jeff Castro, of Castro's Tree Service in Oak Cliff.

    Castro says it's important to use a company that is licensed and insured, and Floyd-Stinnette says that's exactly what she did.

    "Because we didn't want anybody that just showed up in our neighborhood to do anything because they could take your money and just keep right on going and we've heard too many stories of that," she said.

    Castro also offers advice on how to prevent something similar from happening to you.

    "If you go an thin-out your trees and take the weight off, it really helps when those strong winds come through. It will pass through the tree," Castro said.

    But that won't help those working to clean up Oak Cliff on Tuesday.

    "I could just see trees popping, popping, popping. And that's the first time I've ever seen that in my life," Crenshaw said.