The tree has been cleaned up and the family’s belongings are out of the house, but evidence of what caused the unexpected eviction is obvious inside the little duplex in Gazebo Springs off Hogansville Road.
Jimmy Lynch, owner of Pine Mountain-based Disaster Services, says a man and his three children were in the house the night of March 18, when hail and strong winds hit the area. The man barely got his children out of the dining room before the tree came crashing in.
“He just got the kids to the other side of the house when the tree came through,” he said.
Photos, tinted blue from the tarp securing the hole in the roof, show the drywall sheared in two to the molding around the dining room floor. A large hole in the roof exposed trusses, insulation and duct work.
Shortly after that, Disaster Services got the call.
The company has been in business for six years, cleaning up homes and business after storms, floods, fire and mold and water damage from broken pipes.
“We are a division of Carlyle Construction, and I just saw a need for the business,” Lynch said.
The March 18 weather system is keeping the company busy, with hail and wind damage reported from Columbus to Heard County.
“We’re fixing 80 to 90 roofs from LaGrange to Columbus to Phenix City, Ala.,” Lynch said.
A crew was out at the Gazebo Springs house trying to secure the roof even as the storm went on.
“Our first priority is that people are safe,” he said.
Early this week, a crew began taking out the damaged parts of the roof to replace the trusses and re-shingle the apartment. Lynch said the work on the house should take between two or three months, probably closer to two.
There won’t be any piles of insulation laying around when the family moves back in.
“We’ll have it looking perfect when they come back,” Lynch said.
In his six years in business, the broken, storm damaged houses are not the worst he’s seen.
“I’ve seen some really bad mold jobs,” he said. “You have to wear masks and Tyvek suits and all the protective equipment. The thing about mold is, people don’t realize it’s a problem until it’s too late.”
Lynch and his crews also are called to clean up sewage pipes that back up into basements of houses.
“The quicker we can get everyone back to normal, the better it is,” he said.