Severe weather traps residents in vehicles, hits homes
BRISTOL, Va. - Severe weather traps people in vehicles and hits homes throughout the region. Bristol, Virginia fire crews responding to several scenes of downed trees throughout the city. One woman driving when the storm hit was trapped when a power line fell on her vehicle. She shared with News 5 that rains came so quickly, she could not see out of the windshield right as the power line fell. Emergency crews were able to free her within about half an hour without any injuries or damage to her vehicle. Fire Chief Mike Armstrong said there were many similar reports across the city. "We immediately got calls for trees down in the road, power lines down. That quickly escalated due to the severity of the storm," Armstrong said. "Now we're getting reports of trees on houses. We've had people trapped in cars with power lines across the cars and reports trees across their cars with people inside." Armstrong said the fire department was walking door-to-door to check houses on Long Crescent and Lee Highway. Resident Eddie Barnes saw significant damage to his home as lightning struck a neighbor's tree. It fell directly on his garage. "I've got a limb through it, two or three holes through my garage, and my garage door is mashed in, my van, the side's mashed in on my van, the gutter is off the backside of my house," Barnes said. Armstrong warned residents to be cautious as emergency vehicles continue to surveying the damage throughout the evening. Those searches did include power lines. He encouraged people to stay inside throughout the evening hours if possible.