COLUMBIA— Donna Simmons stood by the side of her house Tuesday morning with her dog, Fefe, assessing the damage from the powerful storms that hit Columbia on Monday night.
"When I woke up this morning I couldn't get out of my front door because of tree limbs and cable lines down in the front yard," Simmons said.
A large tree from her backyard had uprooted and collapsed during the storm, destroying a part of the fence surrounding her yard at on Clinkscales Road.
"I have mud all over me from crawling underneath the fence," Simmons, 49, said, laughing and pointing at the fallen tree.
Simmons paused and began to cry.
"I'm lucky to be alive," she said, wiping tears from her eyes. "I was scared to death, I thought I was going to die."
Simmons said the storm woke her up around 11:30 p.m. and she couldn't fall back asleep right away, not before praying.
"My dog started barking last night. She was scared, too," Simmons said. "I heard all this commotion from outside, the wind howling and blowing with the rain."
Since coming out of the house Tuesday morning, Simmons said she hasn't been back inside to see if the power is working or not.
Instead, she talked to a few neighbors to see how they were doing. She took pictures of the piles of broken tree limbs in her front yard, on the side of her house and on her car to show the insurance company. She got a visit from her father, who came by to check on her and the house.
"I'm grateful," Simmons said. "I'm glad that we are all right. All this other stuff can be replaced. God was with us. It is just a miracle."
Supervising editor is Landon Woodroof.