Destructive Winds Topple Trees Into Chevy Chase Homes

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Several large trees came crashing down onto neighboring homes in Chevy Chase during forceful winds Sunday night.

With daybreak Monday, residents in the area of Thornapple and Chestnut streets could begin to see the damage the destructive winds had caused. In front of one of the homes the lawn was covered with large tree branches, limbs and other debris.

Neighborhood resident Cathy Hendrickson, who lives only feet from the homes, said a loud cracking sound woke her up Sunday at about 11 p.m. “I thought a tornado was coming through,” she said. “That’s how bad it seemed to me and then I saw trees leaning over sideways. And it was just a large cracking sound.”

Steve Odendahl was visiting his 87-year-old mom, Alice Wallerstein, who owns one of the damaged homes, on Sunday night. He and his wife were visiting from Colorado along with his older sister who was visiting from Philadelphia.

He and his wife were in bed late Sunday evening when the winds turned violent and then a big tree from the property behind them fell onto his mother’s house, he said.

“It was pretty loud. You know ’cause you could hear the crack,” he said, adding he’s grateful no one was in the upstairs bathroom where the tree slammed into the roof and the roof caved in.

Odendahl said he saw the top of the tree breaking off into pieces and falling into the front yard.

Another large, mature tree hit the next door neighbor’s house, scraping the side of that home as it fell, he said. Odendahl said he and his family had to wait for the fire department to help them get out safely since the power lines were also knocked down.

He said he is counting his blessings that his mother was not alone when this happened and that no one was hurt.

Trees fell onto about five or six homes in Montgomery County, said Pete Piringer, chief spokesman with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. There were no reported injuries.

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