GREENSBORO, N.C. — The weekend ice storm knocked out power to thousands of families in the Triad, which left most in the dark through Monday afternoon.
For Diane Smith, her problems were much more than knocked out power from the storm.
Saturday morning, a large tree from her backyard became uprooted by the weight of the ice that had accumulated.
“The tree didn’t break it was just uprooted. I’m thinking the ice was just too heavy,” said Jan Bush, Smith’s daughter-in-law.
Smith is bound to a wheelchair and has lived at her home on Cottage Place in Greensboro for the past 47 years — the last few with her trusted dog, Willow.
Shortly after 7:00, she lost power.
As she and Willow were making their way back to the bedroom, the large tree crashed through her roof.
It caused her kitchen to cave in, her living room to crumble, and separated the chimney from the wall of the house.
In the chaos, Smith had become trapped inside her room by a large tree branch that fell and blocked her only exit. She had also lost Willow, who ran away in the commotion.
It took two hours before she could be saved by EMS and firefighters, who had to cut their way inside.
Thankfully, by the time she exited, the crews had found Willow as well.
The two are safe, however, they are not together at the moment.
The City of Greensboro has deemed the house too unstable to enter. That means that Smith cannot go inside and get any of the belongings she desperately wants. She is also having to stay in a hotel, while Willow stays with family friends.
Smith’s family has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes that the two will be reunited in a new home soon.