Neighbor: 'It just missed her by inches' as tree slams into Kentuckiana home

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A line of potent storms rumbled their way though Kentuckiana Monday night, causing damage in several different counties. Among the hardest hit: a residential community in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

"Those trees were really swaying last night," said Sharon Ridings.

Neighbors were still shocked Tuesday, as the battle continued to clean up what Mother Nature brought down.

"All of a sudden it's just real dark and I was standing in the dining room and I was looking out the window and the trees falling right toward us and 'bang!' That was it," said Terry Bivens, who lives right next door to where a giant, nearly 100-foot tall oak tree fell around 6 o'clock Monday night.

Terry Bivens and her husband live in the Wesley Condominium Association where they share a duplex with Peggy Richie, whose home took the brunt of the damage from a nearly 150-year-old oak tree.

While the Bivens' home didn't suffer major damage, their attention immediately turned to Peggy, who is elderly.

"We had to crawl underneath the trunk of the tree, it's about this tall and the ground's about this tall," said Bivens. "She was sitting in her chair and it just missed her by inches."

Peggy's home is likely a total loss, as is her garage and the car that's inside.

"We opened the back window and she crawled out and came through the back yard," Bivens said. "She was pretty shaken up, but she wasn't hurt."

Right after the storm blew through Monday night and the giant tree slammed down, neighbors immediately scrambled to help with the cleanup while a crew of about a half-dozen worked through the night into the early morning hours all to help with the cleanup efforts.

That was crucial, as they would cut up large chunks of the giant tree, trying to free dead power lines so that Duke Energy crews could begin their work. Crews also wanted to put tarp over the roof to make sure that the two homes wouldn't suffer any additional water damage, as more rain is expected.

"I heard the chainsaws and I told my husband there's a tree down somewhere," Ridings said.  "We walked over and peered over the fence and unbelievable!"

What may be the most unbelievable is that no one was hurt in Jeffersonville, despite all the dramatic images.

In a community that's all about neighbors helping neighbors…

"Both of our cars are in the garage - we can't get them out," Bivens said.

…that'll continue as everyone waits for things to get back to normal.

"I'm anxious to get the electric back on so I can get a cup of coffee," Bivens laughed.

It could be some time before the power is restored.  As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Duke Energy tells WAVE 3 News that nearly 4,200 customers were without power. Duke officials say it could be 11 p.m. Wednesday before electricity is restored to all customers.

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