By Kelly Werthmann
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Strong winds in Northern Colorado are likely to blame after a massive tree crashed down onto a rental car in Fort Collins early Wednesday.
Troy Hiebsch was home with this wife and two children when they heard the whipping winds and odd sounds just before 8 a.m.
“We thought at first the wind blew some furniture off our back deck,” Hiebsch told CBS4.
When Hiebsch looked to see if anything blew away on the front side of his home, he saw the 100-year-old tree on top of his rental car.
“It was one of those moments when you think, ‘Oh. I don’t know what to do,'” Heibsch said with a laugh. “It was crazy.”
Eight-year-old Owen said it was a scary sound when the tree came crashing down onto the car.
“He was funny, he said, ‘It’s just like in the movies, it fell right in the middle of the car,'” Heibsch said.
Thankfully no one was in the car at the time, so nobody was hurt. Heibsch said the City of Fort Collins responded within 30 minutes and had the tree cleared away in a couple hours. His crunched rental car, though, sat outside his home on Oak Street until a tow truck came by around 9 p.m. Heibsch will be working with the city and his insurance company to find out what it will cost him.
“We had a lot of people walk by, drive by and have concerned looks,” Heibsch said. “So my wife decided it would be a good idea to put signs on the car saying ‘Everything is okay.’ We are just grateful nobody was hurt.”
Gusting winds reaching more than 100 miles per hour toppled semi-trucks on Interstate 70. The wild storm also brought down power lines leaving thousands west of Denver without power.
“At the height of the outages this morning we had about 25,000 customers out,” Mark Stutz with Xcel Energy said.
As the winds whipped through the metro area dozens of other trees were uprooted and fences were knocked down.
“I was so scared … then about 30 minutes later … my whole swing set turned over,” Judy Finch of Fort Collins said.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.