Storm blows trampoline into utility lines, suspending it midair outside home

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — As our region braces for storms Wednesday, some are still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s tornadoes.

A neighbor living in Lowell told Channel 9 a trampoline blew up onto utility lines last week in front of his house, suspending it in midair. He lives on Oakland Street near Highway 7.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew overhead the home Wednesday morning and could see the trampoline dangling in the lines over the driveway. The trampoline was sitting in the yard before winds that spawned a tornado whipped it up and over the house and into the lines.

Paul Perkins said it was an acceptable eyesore at first, but then it became a real hazard.

“Every time I come out on my porch, I still see this thing there,” Perkins said.

Perkins said people even came to take pictures of it. But for him, this stopped being cute a long time ago.

“Sick! Sick! ‘Cause I ain’t got no help from no one,” he said.

He said after last week’s storm, there may have been as many as seven or eight bucket trucks there with crews repairing downed power lines and cutting fallen trees. They restored power, Wi-Fi, and the phone, but he said no one tried to move this trampoline.

“And you reach out to everyone and everyone throws it off to someone else,” Perkins said.

He said they did that even after some of the legs to the trampoline fell down. His grandchildren visits him often and says he was nervous it could hurt them.

“I’m just scared to death that something’s going to fall, land on them,” he said.

Perkins called Channel 9 angry on Wednesday morning. When we flew Chopper 9 over it, Perkins even stepped outside and waved. We called around, and a few hours later, Duke Energey workers pulled up. This time, the bucket trucks were here for one thing: They removed the item that never belonged here.

A Duke Energy spokesperson said the lines were not theirs, but belong to Cablevision/Spectrum and AT&T. The spokesperson said crews plan to cut it down “for public safety reasons.”

“Y’all was the only other person I could reach out to, seem like I can get some help and Lord bless, here y’all are,” Perkins said.

On Wednesday night, for the first time in a week, Perkins doesn’t have to worry every time he drives in or out of the driveway.

Catawba River cleanup

With the recent rainfall, rivers are running high and carrying a lot of debris. Channel 9’s Ken Lemon was along the Catawba River Wednesday, where crews were trying to prevent damage from the debris.

Most people crossing the First Broad River on Highway 74 won’t see the problem. It looks like several large trees were washed downstream and got caught up right at the base of the bridge. Their limbs were trapping more debris several feet below the bridge.

>> Severe Weather Center 9 is tracking the round of rain headed to our area. Download the WSOC-TV Weather App to stay informed.

Fortunately, someone saw the issue and called emergency management.

The emergency management director said they should be able to remedy the problem, but other bridges can be at risk and the problem isn’t over.

There’s also concern about bridges washing out. We are going to continue to have rain, as Thursday is supposed to be the only clear day this week. That’s going to cause the water levels to rise, which brings debris downstream and could bring more debris towards bridges.

The emergency management director said he has reached out to the Department of Transportation about the situation.

(WATCH BELOW: Wednesday morning forecast with Meteorologist Keith Monday)

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