Howling winds topple tree, making a magnet for disaster in Kansas City neighborhood

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The high winds did damage around town Thursday, knocking out power to thousands of customers, some of the worst damage was in the neighborhood behind the stadiums on East 4th Street near Raytown Road.

"It has just been a debacle today," said Josh Collett.

Two cars were involved in two different wrecks, and a close third, all because of a tree that came crashing down in the wind.

"I had woken up shortly before it happened and I was still laying down, and I happened to see the arc flash from, I guess those wires being pulled off of the pole when the tree hit them,” Collett said. “And all the power went out, and so I got up and came outside and there was a tree on top of the car."

With no power and a massive tree on top of his car, Collett made a decision.

"I went back to sleep. I was like screw this," he said.

While Collett went back to sleep, his neighbor Mike Foster began walking around assessing the damage around the winding road that would become a magnet for disaster.

First, an SUV.

"He come up the road and I am trying to wave the flare at him, and I think he must have mistaken me for someone else,” Foster said. “But he ended up punching into it, trying to go through it and ended up getting caught up in the line."

Once Foster untangled the SUV from the power lines, another car came around the corner from the other side of the street.

“I had set a flare on top of the tree and all of the sudden this car comes flying over the hill, hits the tree and the back-end of the car went up and their air bags went off,” Foster said.

A mother and her child on the way to school were not hurt in the crash.

"She had to call her husband and they got her backed out of here pretty quick even before the police got here," Foster said.

It took police, fire and KCP&L to clean up the disaster, all caused by high winds and a rotting tree.

"If you have got a big dead tree, take it down before it hurts something or somebody," Collett said.

That is a good reminder. It is that time of the year to have your trees checked by an arborist because spring is on its way, and sure to bring more storms with it.

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