Windstorm Rips Through Yakima Area
A heavy windstorm sweeps through Yakima County last night, damaging several homes in the process.
We met with Charlie Brown, who was surveying his cars at his Selah home this afternoon.
Brown says minutes after he returned home around 6 last night, he heard the wind howl through his neighborhood, and a loud crash that followed.
"Immediately, when the windows shook, the trees came down," said Brown, "It's like nothing I've ever heard or seen. And then, as soon as I came outside, then I noticed there was about 9 to 11 trees laying on my vehicles."
Last night, the Yakima area was pelted with wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour -- combined with an unusually high temperature of over 50 degrees.
Some homes had their fences knocked over, shingles torn from the roof -- and others, like Brown, had trees ripped from their roots.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt -- including Brown, who knows that he was very lucky.
"If it were to happen 5 minutes -- or if I were 5 minutes later, I would have been in my vehicle when it happened," said Brown, "I just got home when it happened."
Crews say last night's weather condition made for a dangerous combination; with the warm weather melting the snow into the ground, which softened the soil, and allowed the high winds to tear the trees out of the ground.
"It's a good idea for homeowners to keep their trees trimmed by proper tree trimming method," said Baxter Construction employee Keith Rumble, "This is so that the wind doesn't catch the canopy of the tree and pull it down to the house."
However, Charlie Brown says there are some acts of nature that can't be prevented.
"This is just kind of a nature deal," said Brown, "I have done tree trimming to try to prevent this. But, when there's a wind and a quick thaw like that. As warm as it was and the ground soft, it's pretty hard to prevent it."