95-year-old Elizabeth City woman counting her blessings after Dorian uproots tree near her home

Posted at 9:57 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 22:25:17-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - Cleanup is underway in Elizabeth City as Hurricane Dorian moved through our region Friday.

Roads are covered in debris and floodwaters, and the Oxford Heights community was one of the areas that was especially hit hard.

But, people like 95-year-old Thelma Horner are dealing with other problems, too. A massive tree next to her front door was ripped from the earth.

"I heard the thump during the night and I wondered what it was," Horner told us.

That thump turned out to be the tree, which people say is 80 feet high. Horner said everyone has been stopping by her home to take a picture of it.

Horner, a retired teacher, has lived in the house for 50 years.

"The wind blew it in, and down it came," she said.

You can see the massive base of the tree that’s been uprooted - creating a hole in the ground. Horner says she's thankful she wasn't hurt and that it didn't cause even more damage.

Debris was blown all over Elizabeth City - parking lots filled with water, roads flooded as drivers took risks checking on property and loved ones.

Many are left with a huge mess to clean up.

But, the former educator says she has lived through a lot of storms.

"Teaching school 40 years gives you a new lease on life and loving children," she said.

She says she’s glad no one got hurt last night.

"The wind was strong, and we’re blessed that the tree fell towards the street and not on the house," Horner told us.

Related: Resident taken to hospital after tree falls onto Norfolk home

Now, the clean up will continue in this neighborhood and others.

Click here for more Dorian coverage.