Lightning strikes several trees, crushing cars and homes in Rome


ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) -- During a fast-moving thunderstorm lightning strikes down trees all across the City of Rome crushing houses, cars and power lines.

"It came through real quick. Dark and windy the next thing you know branches were coming down," said John Rodriquez, a resident.

Bombarded with emergency calls the Rome Fire Department could only respond to critical situations where wires were down.

"Very chaotic. Every rig in the city was out. I was responding to three or four calls myself. Everyone had a scene to take care of," said Deputy Chief William Gifford.

As National Grid crews try to repair utility poles, police redirect traffic around a tree cracked right down the middle.

"Power flickered on and off, but the phone line is down 'cause it hit the street sign and telephone line," said Jim Lombardo, a resident.

The storm was so strong it blew a trampoline from a backyard to a front yard and just like many trees across town is completely mangled.

"I don't know if it flew over, tumbled through, so I'm just glad to see there isn't more than just a trampoline in the front yard," said Julie Brawdy.

But, others weren't as lucky. The former mayor of Rome even received an unexpected call this evening.

"My wife calls me and says a tree just fell on the house, it's in the kitchen, can you get home the power went off," said Jim Brown.

As residents wander into their yards to survey the damage, many start to think about the trees left standing near their homes.

"Make you think about taking trees down? Yes, yes that is coming next," said Rodriguez.

The Rome Fire Department says there are no reported injuries.

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