Despite being injured and basically losing her home as the result of severe storms in July, a local woman says she’s fortunate and is commending the efforts of first responders.

Jen Brady and her husband live on Kress Road in Hamburg Township, in between Strawberry and Bass Lakes. When the first round of severe storms came through on Friday, July 19th, she says they were watching it roll in from their living room when a huge tree cracked and fell through the roof, right on top of her. Her husband helped pull her out but Brady says the tree split her head open and she was bleeding so they knew they had to get out and didn’t really have time to call 911 because they didn’t know if anyone would even be able to come out due to the storms. They ended up driving to an urgent care facility on M-36 but electricity was out there so they had to drive to an emergency room in Ann Arbor. Brady likened the drive to a scene out of Jurassic Park with trees down all over, saying they had to drive though someone’s yard because a huge tree was blocking a main road while trying to get to the hospital. Brady says further, neighbors feared the worse because they only saw her drive away and didn’t see her husband. She says they were freaking out and thought he was still inside, so were calling the police and fire departments and searching the house during the storm.

As for her injuries, Brady says she’s ok now but had eleven staples and a huge bump on her head, along with bruises on her back and a black eye that’s just now leaving. She says her faith in humanity has really been restored in how everybody came together both during and following the ordeal. Brady says not everyone in the neighborhood really gets along but the way everyone came together to help them was amazing and a huge thanks is owed to the local first responders, police and fire departments and utility companies that were extremely helpful and working around the clock. Although they self-transported, she says the police and fire departments were extremely helpful in guiding them with what next steps to take and what to do.

The storms were the first of many that rolled through that weekend and spurred massive power outages across Southeast Michigan amid a heatwave, with some local communities out of power for as long as five days - Brady’s neighborhood was among them. Although it wasn’t declared, Brady says many people who have been assessing damage feel it had to have been a small tornado. She says a transformer blew in the neighborhood and there were downed wires in front of their house, adding trees fell on five other homes and a vehicle causing damage. Their house didn’t catch on fire but Brady said if they had live electricity, she’s pretty sure it would have. Brady added they’re fortunate to have insurance and coverage while displaced, as it will take between 6 to 12 months to demolish and rebuild what they need to on their home. Brady is the director of brand strategy for Consumers Energy and says it was an eye opening experience. She says knowing the other side of the desk now with the utility companies, even if people don’t see trucks out in a neighborhood there is so much that goes on behind the scenes in order to restore power. She stressed the importance of checking on neighbors but also having an escape plan in the event of a crisis like they had. When it happened, she says they made sure to collect their phones, computers and ID’s but left everything else behind. Brady added that neighbors also watched over the home, making sure no one tried to break in. (JM)