Tree nar­rowly misses home

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner Staff Writer DWag­

Robert El­lis Bow­ers nor­mally leaves for work at 3:20 a.m. each morn­ing. But he was run­ning a lit­tle late Wed­nes­day when a mas­sive tree in his neigh­bor’s yard up­rooted and top­pled over, nar­rowly miss­ing his house at 312 Camp St.

“I usu­ally come out that door at that time, but I de­cided to cook an omelet. That omelet saved my life,” Bow­ers said with a grin.

The 30- to 40-foot tree smashed part of his chain link fence and crashed onto his truck and his daugh­ter-in-law’s Firenza in the drive­way, com­pletely en­gulf­ing the two ve­hi­cles. Bow­ers said the noise was in­de­scrib­able.

“I had turned the wash­ing ma­chine on and all I could think of was the wash­ing ma­chine had blown up,” he said.

Heavy rains washed across Floyd County Tues­day, loos­en­ing the soil where the tree was an­chored. Bow­ers said it had been on a slight hill and he could see the root struc­ture — stunted by drought — was wide but not very deep.

His in­sur­ance com­pany is ex­pected to send some­one to re­move the tree to­day and an­other crew to

re­pair the fence. The cars are not cov­ered.

“I guess I’m go­ing to have to get some wind­shields,” he said with a philo­soph­i­cal shrug.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon a group of neigh­bors came by to sur­vey the dam­age and marvel at Bow­ers’ close call.

“I told him he had an an­gel,” his sis­ter Camille Sum­lin said.

ABOVE: Robert El­lis Bow­ers looks at his pickup truck and his daugh­ter-in-law’s Firenza en­gulfed by a 30- to 40-foot tree that top­pled over just be­fore 3:30 a.m. Wed­nes­day and barely missed his house at 312 Camp St.

Pho­tos by Diane Wag­ner, Rome News-Tri­bune

LEFT: The tree in his neigh­bor’s yard top­pled over Robert El­lis Bow­ers’ fence.

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