Power line down on bus; more wind damage

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin and Jessie Burchette
A Rowan-Salisbury School System bus received minor damage Wednesday afternoon after high winds blew a tree onto a power line, causing both of them to crash onto the bus.
Neither the driver nor any of the students on Bus 156 ó which has a route through the Southeast Middle School area ó was injured in the crash at the intersection of Camp and Cindy roads, according to Rita Foil, public information officer for the school system. Students were evacuated immediately after the tree and power line hit the bus, Foil said.
Parents were notified of the crash, she said, and some opted to pick up their children at the scene. “The rest of the students were placed on another bus, and the route continued.”
Foil said the N.C. Highway Patrol went to the accident scene along with Duke Power workers, who reported the tree had broken the power connection.
Other buses in the school system took different routes Wednesday afternoon due to roads being blocked by trees blown down by the wind, but she said there were no significant delays.
Foil said she received an e-mail Tuesday about the high wind advisory for Wednesday from Frank Thomason, emergency services director for Rowan County. “I was able to get that e-mail out to staff so that they could keep abreast of what was happening out there, too,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Landis, a tree toppled by the wind may have caused more than $40,000 in damage to a Landis home.
Rudy Wise, who lives at 503 W. 5th St., arranged for a crew with a crane to get the large white pine off the house Thursday.
The tree smashed into the rear of the house, breaking into attic and knocking off a portion of the brick from the side of the house
Wise said Thursday morning that his goal was to get tarps or other weatherproof covers over the hole in the back of the house as quickly as possible, given a forecast calling for rain over the weekend.
Wise and his wife were attending a funeral in Kannapolis when the storm blew through Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly after the funeral ended, a funeral home director came up to Wise and advised him that he needed to get home immediately.
He arrived home to find the tree in the house and the Landis Fire Department on the scene.
A man working at a neighbor’s house told Wise the tree came down with a very loud bang.