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Downed tree leaves hundreds without power in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Hundreds of people were without power for much of Tuesday morning in Winston-Salem's Ardmore neighborhood after a large tree fell, bringing down power lines with it.

Dana and Nicholas Van Horn said they heard and saw it happen.

"It sounded like lightning," Dana said. "It sounded like a big strike of thunder hitting the ground."

The couple said the tree fell onto a car driving underneath on the 1500 block of Hawthorne Road, but the driver was uninjured.

"We said what happened, and she said she had seen the tree start to fall while she was right underneath it, so she hit the gas," Dana said. "It clipped the back end of her car."

City crews worked throughout the day to clear up the tree. According to Duke Energy's outages map online, power was restored to all area residents by early afternoon.

Winston-Salem Urban Forester Derek Renegar said over the past few days his team has responded to 20-25 calls of downed trees.

"The trees are held in the ground by the roots," he said. "The friction of the soil holds them in. Once you get heavy rains, it lubricates the soil and sometimes trees are susceptible to failure."

Renegar recommended hiring a professional arborist to assess trees on your property if you think some of them may be susceptible to falling.