Boil Advisory in effect for Rock Island water customers

Celebration to catastrophe: storm leaves Alexis family homeless

As Connor French slips into a cap and gown, his high school graduation day goes from celebration to catastrope.

“Bam,” he recalled. “The house caves in.”

Severe weather sends a large tree crashing through the roof Sunday evening. Father and son are downstairs watching TV.

“It terrified me,” Linn French said. “I thought the whole house was coming down.”

It all happens in a matter of minutes. There’s destructive wind and quick reactions.

“I heard things start blowing around outside,” Connor recalled. “A large crack and an even louder boom. My dad jumped up, and he was like, get in the basement.”

Daughter Abbey leaves an upstairs bedroom minutes before the storm.

“It went through her bedroom and part of our bedroom,” Kristi French said.

It’s a bad situationĀ  that could have been much worse.

“It’s hard to think what would have happened if she’d been up there,” Linn said. “Not good.”

“If she’d been there, she would be pretty badly hurt,” Connor added.

The French’s are renting the house with plans to buy it. But the storm’s aftermath may change all that.

Isolated damage also strikes in Viola.

“A big whoosh,” remembered Wayne Corlett.

Corlett recalls the sound while checking his roof on Monday. Wind scattering shingles and snapping a nearby tree.

It’s definitely the wrong place at the wrong time.

“When I left this morning, no other houses around us were damaged,” he said. “No other trees were down that we saw.”

Back in Alexis, the French family loads up for the long haul. They’re staying with relatives while sorting out their situation.

“Lot of work,” Kristi said. “Lot of work.”

Before getting back to chores, Connor poses in front of the damaged house in his cap and gown.

“I’ll never forget this one,” he concluded.

From celebration to catastrophe in a matter of minutes for this family.