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Storm sends massive tree crashing onto house, two cars

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- One South Memphis family is counting their blessings after Saturday night's high winds uprooted a massive tree in their front yard, sending it toppling over, narrowly missing their house.

"It was crackling like thunder and we heard a big rumble, like the earth moved," said homeowner Anthony Lathan.

It took a few minutes for Lathan and his family to realize what happened.

"I thought it was just thunder, too," said Lathan's daughter, Kaylin.

It happened around 8 p.m. as storms pounded the Mid-South.

But their neighbors weren't so lucky.

The 65-year-old, 50-foot tree was sent crashing onto their neighbor's roof, and both their and their neighbors' cars.

"It looks like it has destroyed the inside and the roof of the neighbor's home here," said Anthony Lathan. "My neighbor has two small children. Fortunately, they weren't at home at the time."

"I couldn't believe it," said Kaylin Lathan. "And then I ran and told my mama and then we just came outside. ... She was shocked."

In the nearly 60 years he's lived here, Lathan says this was a first for him.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "Very scary."

The storm also ripped down power lines, threw huge branches onto their roof and across their yard, and tore down part of a chain-link fence.

"[It's] a big mess," said Anthony Lathan. "It's going to take a lot of effort to get it cleaned all up."

But they're just grateful everyone's OK.

The Lathans hope their homeowner's insurance will cover the damage.

In the meantime, they say neighbors have volunteered to come over with chainsaws to help them clean up.