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Chatham Co. neighbors help clear downed trees from Michael

October 12, 2018 GMT

At least five trees toppled over along Buteo Ridge Road on Thursday as winds from Hurricane Michael swept through the Redbud neighborhood in Chatham County.

One tree blocked vehicle access to several homes, which is why Melissa Dowland and her husband started chainsawing and hauling the tree away.

“It’s what we do,” said Dowland. “Our roads are not state-maintained, so this is what usually happens.”

The Dowlands started chopping on Thursday night when the weather left the area and finished clearing the road Friday afternoon.

“The winds really picked up and got really loud and blustery,” said Dowland. “I went down to the basement because I felt like that was the safest place to be. I heard a couple of crashes during that time period. It lasted not that long.”

Dowland says the backside of their neighbor’s home was hit by another tree, leaving damage to the roof and brick siding. That homeowner said no one was hurt.

Nearly 13,000 customers in Chatham County lost power during the storm, according to Duke Energy. By Friday afternoon, crews made little progress to restore power as they work to restore more than 350,000 outages statewide