OLYMPIA, Wash. -- One South Sound community is showing just how strong they are, by coming together to rebuild the home of a couple in their 80s whose mobile home was destroyed when a strong storm rolled through earlier this month.
“It started with the rain and then thunder. It just got dark. It got really dark and then things started breaking,” homeowner Patrick Morris said Tuesday.
The storm destroyed part of the home, Morris said, and nearly killed him and his partner.
“If that tree had been 10 feet over this way, I wouldn’t be talking to you now,” he said.
Morris said the most damage came from 110 feet in the air and -- a massive fir tree that crashed into the addition on the back of the couple’s mobile home. It also destroyed the power lines between the meter and the mobile home.
“When I came out here, the devastation was amazing. We couldn’t even get near the electrical panel. The sides of the trailer, there was just too much stuff in the way,” said electrician Brennan Barnes.
Barnes said the repair to restore the power would have cost about $1,500, but he fixed the wiring free of charge. And then he leveraged the power of social media.
“I thought I had to try to do something. So I put a post on Facebook,” said Brennan.
That post got the attention of contractor William Walsh, owner of Harbor Pacific Homes.
“It kind of grabbed my heart, a couple of elderly people, and you kind of think about your grandparents,” Walsh said.
He’s hoping to get the couple a donated trailer so his company can replace what’s here.
“You look at the size of the tree, that thing took out their whole back porch, a bunch of holes, knocked out a bunch of windows. As you can tell from inside the home, the roof is caved in,” Walsh said.
On top of all this, Morris has some health problems and recently had his leg amputated.
“I’m just starting my 80th year. What a way to start, huh?”
The home might not seem like much, but after 20 years, Morris said there’s no place like it.
“We’re getting too old to move. I want to stay here,” said Morris.
And fortunately for him, the heart of his community is stronger than the eye of any storm.
While Morris he does not have homeowner's insurance, members of the community have started a fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/storm-repairs-for-elderly-couple