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Storms damage two homes, displace four in Forsyth

FORSYTH COUNTY — Tuesday evening’s thunderstorms displaced four occupants in two homes but caused no injuries, local emergency personnel said.

As the height of the storm, which brought intense lighting and high winds with heavy rain, crossed the area about 8 p.m., the Forsyth County Fire Department responded to a house fire on Mayfair Drive, which sits between Exits 16 and 17 near Central Park.

The fire, which Division Chief Jason Shivers said was caused by a lightning strike, damaged the upstairs bedroom and hallway, though firefighters contained it to that level of the residence.

A woman was the only person home at the time and got out without injury. Shivers said she is staying with friends.

Just before that, he said, a tree fell on an occupied home on Trailside Way off Jot Em Down and Keith Bridge roads.

The large, old-growth oak tree crashed through the room of the family’s 18-year-old son. He was not home at the time, though his parents and two dogs were. Everyone escaped without injuries.

“It was a good thing [the son wasn’t there] because his bedroom sustained the hardest hit,” Shivers said.

A pickup truck in the driveway also was destroyed by the tree, which Shivers described as being too large for a person to reach his or her arms around.

The family was also displaced but is reportedly staying with friends in the neighborhood.

Fire units spent at least two hours putting tarps on the house to prevent any further rain damage.

Any other incidents fire crews worked that night were “minor occurrences.”

“There were a few inconveniences due to limbs and lines down on intersections and some power outages,” Shivers said. “All in all, Forsyth suffered little damage compared to others in the metro area.”

Several deputies on the Forsyth County Sheriff’s chainsaw strike team worked past midnight to clear downed trees, said Robin Regan, a spokesman with the agency.

The minor incidents countywide units handled included 16 trees that fell on roads and five that came down on wires. Two wires fell on roads.