On Aug. 28, a storm shook the Willamette Valley, and lightning struck a giant sequoia near the intersection of Southeast Raymond Street and Oatfield Road in Oak Grove.
The tree exploded, causing extensive damage to two homes and scattering 4 tons of wood and debris across the neighborhood.
One of the damaged homes belongs to Nancy Bailey, retired principal of Kraxberger Middle School in Gladstone.
"My house needs to be rebuilt on the top and two sides," Bailey said. "Rafters were broken, and the roof was pierced in 12 places. I still have a limb poking through the bedroom ceiling. It will take months to fix, but I'm OK."
When the Gladstone community heard the news, a group of 30 school district staff, students and recent graduates showed up to help, bringing yard tools, chain saws, pickups and trailers. School district employee Ryan Johnson even brought his father's dump truck.
"In three hours, they removed almost 4 tons of tree debris and delivered several cords of firewood to a local church for families in need," Bailey said. "In my 33-year relationship with the Gladstone community, I have never been more grateful for the love and support we provide each other every day. This is truly a special place."
A spokesman for Clackamas Fire was thankful no one was injured by the lightning strike. Gladstone Fire helped respond to this incident while Clackamas crews were on the scene of a house fire in the area.
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