COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Columbia family said God’s plan for them helped ensure they were relatively unharmed after a massive oak tree came crashing into their home last Thursday as Tropical Storm Michael passed through the Midlands.
Chelsea Jacobs was asleep with her one-year-old daughter when she woke up to a deafening noise.
“It sounded like a bomb and felt like an earthquake because you could feel everything shaking,” Jacobs said. “My daughter was trembling and I immediately started calling out for help.”
Jacobs said she could hear her boyfriend’s stepfather in the kitchen, but the tree fell through the hallway cutting off her access to him.
“His leg was broken and I put my hand out to try to coax him our way but he told me to take the baby and get out before anything else happened,” she said.
Jacobs’ boyfriend, Hector Benthall, was down the street taking care of an errand when she called him in a panic.
“I hadn’t even made it down the street when she called and said a tree had fell on the house,” he said. “Every other morning, I’d be watching T.V. in the living room. Had I been in there that morning things would have been much different.”
With the help of their next-door neighbor Keito Jordon, Jacobs was able to safely get out of the house through a window with her daughter. First responders helped Benthall’s stepfather and transported him to the hospital where the two said he is recovering from leg surgery.
On Friday, a tree removal company came and removed half of the tree, which had been uprooted about 30 feet from the house. However, without bigger equipment, the crew was forced to leave the upper half of the tree on the house.
“We still haven’t been able to get in and see what’s left,” Jacobs said.
The couple survived a life-threatening car crash in May, in which Benthall was in the hospital for two months with a shattered pelvis, broken ribs, shoulder, and punctured lungs. Jacobs was also injured and said the couple is doing their best to keep the family together.
“We don’t have much, but we’re trying to make it work despite these tragedies happening where there’s nothing we can do,” she said.
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