N. Idaho veteran compares wind storm to World War II

N. Idaho veteran compares wind storm to World War II

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – A Coeur d'Alene man had the scare of his life during Tuesday's wind storm.

The 88-year-old veteran and his wife were inside their home when a tree came crashing through just a few feet from them. The two were practicing singing for a Christmas program at their church in Hayden when it all happened.

Frank Bittick said he was just five feet away from where the roof caved in. He said the tree was about 40 feet tall.

Their home was not the only one on the block that was damaged. The home next door to the Bittick's had a tree go through their wall. The home belongs to Van Troxel, the head football coach a Lake City High School. He and his wife are okay. Both the wall and their back yard were badly damaged.

Bittick said Tuesday night was eerily similar to something he experienced 70 years ago.

"Like a super-human thunder. It was an explosion. It was like when I was onboard ship in World War Two. And the big guns went off. That's how bad it was," said Bittick.

Across Kootenai County, more than 17,000 power outages were reported. First responders and dispatchers were overwhelmed with the amount of 911 calls they received. According to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, a 22-year-old man is in critical condition after a tree fell on his car near Twin Lakes. 

 


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