Fallen Tree Proves Uplifting

By Rachel Martin

July 8, 2012 Updated Jul 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – A Fort Wayne family is finally recovering from the storm that knocked a tree onto their house.

It's been quite a weekend for the Neumeiers. Sunday they watched a crew remove an 80-year-old Oak tree from the home they've known for 15 years.

“It was a shock at first. When it hit the house we were all inside,” said John Neumeier. “It was quite a lot of noise and the house moved.”

“It was frightening. We saw the trunk of the tree start twisting in the wind. We didn’t think it would ever fall, and it fell,” said John’s wife, Tracy.

Tracy says they got lucky during the first storm on June 29 because they only lost power for a few hours. She says there was damage to her neighbors’ yards, but theirs remained untouched.

“We thought we were good with that one, then the second storm came and then it was our turn,” she said.

During the second storm on Thursday night, a tree fell on their house causing them to live in a hotel. “I told the wife the house is disaster-proof now,” John chuckled.

The Neumeiers are able to go inside the home, but it’s no where near livable. Tracy says they family comes home everyday to check on the progress. “It’s really hard to stay away from your home,” she said. “I'm just checking on things because you still care about what happens.”

Tracy and the kids went on to church Sunday morning, but John stayed behind watching and waiting for the big moment—the moment the tree is removed from their roof. He promised his daughter he’d record the action on her iPod.

“Got to get a good seat for the show, hopefully it'll only happen once in my lifetime,” he said with a laugh.

So what's next for the Neumeiers? “We have contractors lined up. They'll start putting it back together. They said probably two to three months,” said John.

John says tree branches also fell on their cars. He credits his neighbors for helping his family cope with the disaster.

“Thank you to all the people that came out and friends and neighbors that really helped. Everybody just pitched-in. It's a really good neighborhood like that,” he said.

Jane Applegate lives next door, and witnessed the damage. She’s been documenting the entire event for the Neumeiers. She says the fallen trees helped bring the neighborhood together.

“We're going to have a block party when all this is cleaned up to celebrate all our new friends and all the people who came together to help out,” she said.

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