Mother, daughter rescued after tree falls into apartment

Firefighters rescued several people from an apartment at the Reserve at Kanapaha complex on Sunday after a tree crashed into the building.

Gainesville Fire Rescue
Published: Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 10:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 8:58 a.m.

A mother and daughter escaped serious injury Sunday evening when a massive oak tree crushed their apartment during a sudden storm.

The two were in a second floor unit at the Reserve at Kanapaha complex at 4400 Archer Road when a storm, described as a microburst by Gainesville Fire Rescue District Chief Michael Cowart, struck at around 5 p.m.

The tree toppled onto the building, trapping the mother and child inside, Cowart said. Seven people were in the unit below, but they managed to escape unharmed.

The girl had minor injuries, and firefighters were able to get her onto a ladder and help her to the ground, Cowart said. The girl was taken to the hospital for evaluation; her mother was uninjured, he said.

The American Red Cross responded and assisted with placement of the displaced families.

Cowart said that 19 firefighters responded to this incident, one of several that occurred as a line of powerful thunderstorms packing quarter-sized hail, strong winds and lightning rolled through the area Sunday night.

Gainesville Regional Utilities was reporting more than 400 customers without power in areas west of 34th Street and southwest of West University Avenue.

Storms are expected to continue into the week, as the forecast for North Florida calls for high chances of afternoon rain and hotter temperatures.

Monday will be mostly sunny with a high of 91 degrees and a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Monday night will be partly cloudy with a low of 71 degrees, and rain chances will increase slightly before 9 p.m.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely Tuesday after 3 p.m. The day will be mostly sunny with high near 91. Tuesday evening rain chances will decrease to 50 percent, with a mostly cloudy sky and a low around 70 degrees.

Wednesday will bring higher chances of rain, with a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. On Wednesday night, rain chances will dip to 30 percent and continue to drop throughout the rest of the week.

A 30 percent chance of rain is forecast for Thursday morning, but that will decrease to 20 percent Thursday night. The rain chances for Friday and the weekend will be similar to Thursday.

Temperatures are expected to remain constant from Thursday to Saturday, with highs in the lower 90s and lows in the upper 60s.

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