The huge tree that would have slammed down on her Tuesday afternoon lay across her front lawn and on top of her 2005 gray Honda Odyssey. Its roots were now exposed, and the ends of its limbs scraped the eaves of her home.
Its weight, however, lay squarely on the vehicle that moments earlier Holaday and her daughter were sitting inside.
They’d just pulled into Holaday’s Kenwood Drive home in West Rome during heavy rains and winds. Groceries sat in the car waiting to be brought inside, but Holaday broke with routine and left the items behind as she and her daughter fled in-doors.
“Normally, I’d have just waited in the car and waited until the rain stopped,” Holaday said.
Holaday went to her kitchen and looked out the window. The sky had grown dark, and she told her daughter they should sit in the living room. Some five minutes had passed since they’d gotten inside.
“And when we walked back to the living room, the tree fell,” she added.
The sound, Holaday said, was “horrible.”
A neighbor quickly ran to her home and checked on her, knowing she’d just pulled into her driveway. Holaday and her daughter were uninjured, she said.
“I’d be dead,” Holaday added. “I would have had a heart attack.”
Tuesday’s storm toppled trees and sent powerful winds across the county, knocking over Sherold Salmon’s hay barn on Barron Road. Salmon has some 200 acres in the area, but the storm pummeled just two of them. His barn crumpled underneath the rafters, and about 15 to 20 trees were felled.
“All the cows are OK,” Salmon said. “Back where I’ve got them, there’s no damage.”
His tractor, however, was inside the barn at the time.
Scotty Hancock, Floyd County’s emergency management director, said the storm led to no flooding or blocked roads. The most damage was limited to the Armuchee area.
Some 50 buildings were without power Tuesday afternoon. Hancock said he expected their power would be restored quickly.
The National Weather Service states there’s a slight chance of rain and snow before 9 a.m. today. It’ll be partly sunny with highs around 50. Wind gusts could reach 35 mph.
Tonight will be mostly clear. Lows will dip to about 31. Winds could gust to 15 mph.
Thursday’s forecast calls for sunny skies with highs around 57. Wind gusts could climb to 15 mph.