Tuscola family feels the force of Monday's storms

TUSCOLA—Monday’s severe weather left tree limbs scattered across roads and yards all over Central Illinois, but for one Tuscola family, branches hit too close to home.

When thunderstorms rolled through Tuscola that afternoon, Marsha Ray believes the heavens unleashed more than just heavy rains and winds.

“I was in the living room, so it was like the angels, they knew that I was there,” said Ray, who has lived in her home on East Overton Street for 20 years.

Because moments later, there was a loud crash coming from the front of her home and she knew it was not thunder.

“I heard a big thunk,” said Ray. “And that's when the limbs fell out of the tree onto the front porch.”

 Her neighbor heard it too, and knowing Marsha was home alone, she sent her son and nephew over to make sure she was not hurt.

“They both jumped over the branches to get into the front porch,” said Ray.

“[We] went inside to make sure she was alright,” said Dwayne Adkins, one of the boys who ran to rescue Ray. “And she was standing on the porch all shook up.”

“We were actually talking to her, make sure she's okay,” said Andrew Messer, who has grown up in the house next door to Ray’s.

 “And I said yes, I'm fine,” said Ray.

But her roof is not. Friends and family helped haul the broken branches off her house, but what’s left is a gaping hole.

“It will be leaking,” said Ray. “I got buckets in there now that I've been putting in there to get the rain earlier.”

 But the boys that came to her rescue also want to help her rebuild.

“We're probably going to redo the front part of the roof,” said Messer.

Making them much more than neighbors to Ray.

“I had some heroes that came by to help me out,” said Ray.

 The Tuscola Fire Department also responded to the scene to check for downed wires, but found none, so Ray and her husband plan to continue living in their home while they repair the roof.

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