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Wind rips trees down, causes major damage in Wyoming town

Tree on Fords' house
Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 18:53:28-05

STORY, Wyo. — Tuesday morning was one Margo Ford will never forget.

"The house shook. It was a horrible boom," Ford said. "You could hear glass just shatter everywhere."

Wind gusts of up to 92 miles per hour in the small Wyoming town of Story caused a 50-foot Ponderosa pine in Ford's backyard to fall straight on top of her house, crashing through the master bedroom window.

Tree on Fords' house
A Ponderosa pine fell on top of Eric and Margo Ford's house Tuesday morning after 90+ mile per hour winds ravaged the town of Story, Wyoming.

It happened at 5:33 a.m. Ford knows the exact time, because her family had gotten up just a half hour earlier after the power went out.

"At 5:02, we were in that room," Ford said. "Our bed is right on the other side of that bay window, so I know it was God protecting us."

Some residents were even luckier. Kurt Heiser was sitting in his living room watching TV next to his dog Pepper when a pine came straight through the roof, covering the two with insulation and debris. Heiser said a branch missed him by less than two feet. After uncovering himself, he cleared debris off Pepper who promptly ran out the dog door, spooked but unharmed.

Tree in Heiser's home
A tree crashed through Kurt Heiser's living room Tuesday morning during a powerful wind storm in Story, Wyoming.

Another man three houses down Ponderosa Drive had a tree go right through his garage and miss his 1976 Corvette by inches.

A worker with Montana Dakota Utilities said the company will be restoring power for days in the town, with winds expected to pick back up.

Back at the Fords' home, Eric, an Air Force vet, got help taking the 50-footer off his house from several other vets. It’s just the way of life.

"It's never been this bad, but the funny thing is we have a business with an LLC, and we were wondering what to name it. We were standing in the backyard one night and said, 'Oh, Windy Pines," Ford chuckled. "So that’s what we named it because we live in Story where it’s always windy.”

Tree crushes trailer
A tree crushes an empty horse trailer after a powerful wind storm in Story, Wyoming.