CHICAGO - A family in south suburban Oak Lawn counted their blessings Thursday morning, after a huge tree smashed into their home overnight. There was a 7-month old boy inside.
Todd and Heather Summerville said they are in shock. They were asleep when the tree came down on their house in the 5200-block of West Alexander Place - even their baby slept through it. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
They had planned to list their home for sale, but Mother Nature had other plans. An old tree came crashing down on top of their roof as strong storms swept through the Chicago area. Some people living in north suburban Evanston were also cleaning up Thursday morning. A century-old elm tree blew over and almost hit a car. People said the tree shook the neighborhood when it came crashing down. Lightning was spotted in Kenosha, Wis.
"When I bought the house, my dad said, 'You better take that tree down because one day it's going to fall on your house,'" Heather Summerville said.
Her father was right.
They were lucky, because about 30 minutes before it snapped, she was feeding the couple's 7-month-old son in the living room, where part of the tree came through the window, showering the baby's toys with shattered glass.
"He had woken up and I went out to sit on the couch and feed him. He finished eating and we went and put him back down to bed. I went back to bed and woke up to that," she said.
The couple said emergency crews believe the wind speed reached up to about 70 miles per hour in the area overnight. The wind gusts were too big of a match for the aging tree.
"This tree has gotten old. It's gotten some bugs and critters chewing away at it and apparently it had its days," Todd Summerville said.
The storms hit Oak Lawn hard, ripping down a billboard at 95th Street and the Metra tracks, tossing trees and branches around neighborhoods.
Needless to say, the Summerville home won't be on the market anytime soon.
"We've been busting our butts improving everything, cleaning everything up, moving stuff out, getting all the clutter out. That was all good and ready to go. This is going to be a huge setback," Todd Summerville said.
The couple said they have been told the home is safe, so they are able to stay there.
They called their insurance company Thursday to take care of the mess.