Halloween storm damages south side neighborhoods

Several homes on the south side were damaged by falling trees during Thursday's storm.
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Halloween storms wreaked havoc on some neighborhoods throughout central Indiana. The south side of Indianapolis was especially hard hit.

It is a holiday southsider Kerry Moriarty will remember. But it's one he'd really rather forget.

"Yeah, Happy Halloween. I guess I got tricked instead of treated," Moriarty said. "I had water coming through there, water coming through this ceiling, of course this ceiling's gone."

There's a big hole in his house on Debra Lane after Halloween storms sent a tree right through his spare bedroom. The roof caved in. Insulation rained down all over the bed. The impact also caused major structural damage to the entire home. Moriarty was in another room when strong winds blew through.

"The house shook and it was a loud boom and then you could hear the crack and then I could hear water. Now we're going into the winter and they're more or less gonna have to take pretty much the whole back of the house apart and put it all back together again," Moriarty explained.

There was a symphony of storm cleanup on the south side Friday, as chainsaws removed toppled trees all across Perry and Franklin townships.

"I had ten calls by 9:30 this morning," said Zachariah Engledow of Affordable Tree Care & Landscaping. "It's awful for these people, but good for business. It takes 75 years (for these trees) to grow and one day to come down."

Damaging winds Thursday night sent large trees across people's yards, one into a church playground at Southport Baptist and another onto the roof of a house on McFarland.

Thick branches and debris buried Matt Pickett's car off of Arlington Ave. He'd just bought the vehicle two months ago and drove it to his friend's house when the storm hit.

"I see lots of dents, couple broken taillights so far. The roof's really dented," Pickett said.

Yet a different wind direction could've made things worse for the family inside. Veronica Chamberlain's young son was sleeping when the large tree snapped into pieces.

"We have a lot of mess to clean up, a lot," Chamberlain said. "But his room's right there, so thank God, it didn't hit my son's bedroom."

That's how most storm victims feel - many spooked by the storm, but luckily, no one hurt.

"Someone could have been in the bedroom. Someone could have been hurt," Moriarty said. "All things considered, God was very gracious."