High winds trap storm victim and destroy property

Trees fell on several Columbia buildings, homes and vehicles during an overnight storm.

Columbia storm victims said they are lucky no one was seriously hurt.

Becky Giovanini helped save her neighbor Wendy Hale and her 3 dogs who were trapped inside their home on Westridge Drive after high winds blew a giant pin oak on top of it.

Giovanini said, â??My husband and I heard her screaming for help. We couldnâ??t get to her because her front porch was gone and her back porch was gone. We called 911. They came and they were able to get her out of the window.â??

Haleâ??s dogs were rescued as well.

Meanwhile, Michael Stampley found his 2 large dogs trapped after high winds blew a tree on top of his house on Madison Street. Stampley just moved in Monday. Stampleyâ??s neighbor Tommy Clark heard the tree fall just before midnight.

Clark said, â??It was amazing how the wind could blow that tree like that. It snapped. You could hear a loud crunch. Iâ??ve heard trees fall before. I thought it was one of mine.â??

It was a bad night for Stampley. Not only did a tree fall on his house, but he hit a tree and totaled his car while driving home from work in the blinding rain of the storm. Stampleyâ??s dogs are safe, but his car and home were destroyed. Donna Simmons and her dog Fifi had better luck. The winds blew in her favor when a large tree fell on the street.

Simmons said, â??It was just scary. I thought the trees were going to fall onto the house. I thank god that they didnâ??t.â??

Her landlord Jim Zajicek said it was hard to believe his property was spared from major damage.

Zajicek said, â??We have our neighborâ??s tree limbs. Our trees are on the neighbors. Everything went to an open area except this.â??

Trees fell on several Columbia buildings, homes and vehicles. Tree service crews stayed busy with chainsaws. Storm victims said it will take several days to clean up the mess.

Columbia firefighters responded to more than 40 calls because of last nightâ??s storms.