ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Rockville neighborhood is struggling to recover after Thursday's storms sent what may have been a tornado racing through Montgomery County.
Many of us avoided damage this time around, but the neighborhood between I-270 and Montgomery College was not able to do so. The big oak tree on Stevens Court stood for half a century before the storm sent it tumbling into the Doty family home.
"I haven't taken it all in. I'm still in shock," says Eric Doty, who was away when the storm blew through. He couldn't believe what he saw when he got home. He said he "Came in the neighborhood, it looked like a war zone, leaves, limbs, trees everywhere."
Now he is dealing with insurance, restoration, and rebuilding. The winds sent a big double trunked oak slicing through the addition and the car port of the home where he grew up, which was the same place where he lost his dad a few years ago and where he lost his mom a few months ago. "I'm torn about that because this would have broken her heart, I'm glad she didn't see that," he said.
Peg Taboada thought at first the huge boom was just thunder. "Then my grandson said 'Grandma, you have to look in the living room.' Then I looked up, and there's the tree."
The crash was the noise of four, maybe five oak trees, cutting through the roof of the home she shares with her husband, her daughter and her grandson. "The ceiling was down, the studs were going through, the water was pouring in, and I was a wreck."
They have talked to their insurance agent, but the family is struggling with what to do next, where to live, how to rebuild. But all of that is secondary to simple survival. "My grandson said, 'Just think of this now, no one got hurt,' as I was falling apart," he said.
But the storm has also brought a community together.
"Everybody's stepped forward," says Eric Doty, "offered to put us up, brought us food. One woman came walking down with a couple of bottles of wine. Can't get any better than that."