75
      Saturday
      78 / 56
      Sunday
      80 / 59
      Monday
      84 / 59

      Woman's home split in half

      High winds uprooted a tree in Kathleen Hietala's backyard

      Thursday's severe weather caused widespread wind damage across L'Anse. The National Weather Service investigated the area for possible tornado damage where one woman lost her home.

      The large pine tree cut her home in half. Kathleen Hietala was only feet away in her chair when it happened.

      "I could hear things hitting the top of the house, and then just all of a sudden there was just this god-awful noise I can't even describe, and the next thing I knew, this mammoth pine tree just fell through the kitchen roof, split the house in half," said Hietala.

      The smells of smoke and burning wood remain in the air. When the tree struck the home, it collided with the stove and ignited a fire. The home is a complete loss.

      NWS meteorologists say that there was not a tornado.

      "We estimated 65 to 70 mile per hour winds from straight line thunderstorm winds and, at this time, we do not think this was a tornadic storm," said Mike Dutter, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

      Elsewhere in L'Anse, tree branches litter Broad Street, one car is trapped under a tree, and another home had a close encounter of its own when a tree tipped onto the front of the house.

      "I heard a crack, and I noticed the tree was on my porch," said resident Rebecca Stroube.

      Meanwhile, Kathleen Hietala stays positive with the help of some family and friends.

      "I keep telling myself this is just things. I have my health, I have my life most importantly, and I have all these wonderful people who love me," Hietala said.

      She says it's fascinating to find what family treasures have survived the disaster.