Spencer wind damage clear in light of day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
SPENCER ó Tommy Stoner and his wife, Tonya, were sitting in the living room Wednesday night ready to watch the Duke-Carolina game.
They could hear gusts of wind outside.
All at once they heard a roaring sound. “It was pulsing and then there was an explosion,” Tommy Stoner said Thursday. “The whole house shook.”
And then there was a tremendous racket.
For a minute or so, they were convinced a plane had crashed into their three-story house at 301 Fourth St.
The lights flickered but remained on.
They went outside to find bricks from the 100-year-old chimney scattered in the yard, streets, on the roof and across the street in Library Park.
The roof had a huge hole and a dormer was heavily damaged.
After talking with insurance and emergency officials, Stoner said they believe a microburst of wind probably 100 mph hit the house.
Spencer firefighters used a ladder truck to put a large tarp over the roof to protect the house until repairs can be made.
The bricks powered by the wind broke several 2-by-12 rafters. Other bricks knocked holes n the roof.
Although the bricks were scattered widely, the family’s vehicles escaped damage.
Shortly after the chimney came down, several residents of the area gathered near the home to look at the damage.
“A little gust of wind threw some bricks toward them,” Stoner said. “It was scary.”
While the damage to the house can be repaired, the Stoners are relieved that no one was injured.
“If there had been cars going down the street, somebody could have gotten killed. We feel fortunate. This can be fixed,” Stoner said.
The Stoners were among a few residents in Spencer who didn’t lose electricity.
The Stoners have spent most of 17 years restoring the home in the historic district. The house has been featured on tours and won awards.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.