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Milton-Freewater family loses two cars to downed tree during thunderstorm

A Green Acres Mobile Home Park family said they were one of the few in the community that saw major damage to their property from the storm in eastern Oregon.

MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. — The community of Milton-Freewater in northeastern Oregon is picking up the pieces after three severe storms passed through the area between Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for conditions that consisted of wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour with hail the that ranged from the width of a quarter to that of a golf ball.

People who live in the area told KGW’s Daisy Caballero that they’ve all had their fair share of storms, but nothing like this one. Residents reported major damage to their vehicles and homes due to the enlarged hail and wind blowing tree branches onto their homes or properties.

Marco Rodriguez lives in the Green Acres Mobile Home Park off Highway 125. His family is now without a vehicle, after a sycamore tree fell on top of both his and his partner's cars. 

He described what he and his family witnessed Wednesday night, when the storm was at its peak.

RELATED: Storm rolls through Eastern Oregon, pouring down hail

“Well, it was pretty bad,” said Rodriguez, a resident of Green Acres for nearly 10 years. “First of all, it was like raining hail the size of maybe (a golf ball). I know it was windy. It was really windy and raining hail. We think both the rain, hail and wind is what caused the tree to fall down. I'm pretty sure, you know, it was the wind.”

The property owner, Stan Crawford, said a total of three trees fell in the mobile home park during the storm, alongside a single power pole. Crawford said the power pole fell on the awning of a mobile home in the park, while a tree branch went through another home on the lot.

Many residents that live in the Green Acres Mobile Home Park say they lost power and had to go stay in a hotel because of the lack of power and severe damage.

Crawford said he was happy with how the mobile home community came together during a time of need, but residents felt differently about it.

Rodriguez and others who live in the area said this damage could have easily been prevented if the trees had been maintained better before the initial storm. 

RELATED: Severe thunderstorms, large hail could impact Eastern Washington overnight Thursday

 A resident of the mobile park home told KGW that the landlord-tenant park agreement prohibits tenants from trimming trees on their own. KGW reached out to Crawford for comment and clarification on this agreement Friday night, but have yet to receive a response.

Despite some Green Acres Mobile Home park residents seeing damage to their property, no injuries were reported as of Friday night. 

Crawford said a new power pole and transformer was installed on Friday. 

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