Coweta woman gets out minutes before limb crashes into home

by Wes Mayer


Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Patricia Donley, in pink, hugs her neighbor, Theresa Massey, while management from the mobile home park remove the tree limb that fell through Donley’s bedroom.

A woman’s home in northeast Coweta County was damaged when a tree fell Tuesday, and she is now looking for assistance to help get her home put back together.

“They say it’s unlivable,” said Patricia Donley. “It’s a mess.”

Donley said she had just walked out of her bedroom Tuesday morning to let her three chihuahuas out, and she was cleaning in the other room when the tree crashed through her trailer’s roof. Insulation and ceiling fell into her bedroom. It was only about two minutes after she left the room, she said, around 10 or 10:30 a.m.

“If we hadn’t left when we did,” Donley said, “I don’t know what would have happened.”

It was not the entire tree that fell – only a large branch from the upper half, but it still greatly damaged Donley’s bedroom. Inside the room were two beds, a queen and a full-size, along with other valuables, collectibles and pictures. Many of these were ruined.

Donley lives on Dave Road off Tingle Lane in a mobile home park near Palmetto. She, her daughter and her neighbors have complained about the tree to the park’s management and owner numerous times, they said, but management would always say the tree looked fine. The neighbors knew the tree was not in good shape, though, so they are not surprised something like this happened.

Donley does not know what it will take to repair her home, but she does not think she will be able to afford it. She lives alone with her three dogs, does not have insurance on her home, and she collects Social Security.

The park’s management removed the tree from her bedroom and roof, and a Coweta-Fayette EMC crew was able to restore electricity to her home around 1 p.m. – the limb also damaged a power line. She was told she could turn off the air conditioning to her bedroom and close her bedroom’s door, and management worked to lay a tarp over the hole in her roof. The American Red Cross was also called to assist Donley.

For now, Donley said she plans to live with her daughter, but she needs some aid to fix her home.

“I don’t know what comes now,” she said. “I really don’t. I need all the help I can get.”

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