A fund has been set up to help with medical expenses of a Mount Airy man who was injured during a storm last weekend.
Thomas Strickland, 62, a resident of South Surry Lane, was visiting friends in the Westfield community Sunday when what authorities have called a “microburst weather system” hit the area.
Microbursts, similar to tornadoes, are severe, localized columns of air that can bring 100 mph winds. They have the capacity to knock over fully grown trees and can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
In Strickland’s case, a tree fell onto a residence on Duluth Lane where he was visiting Sunday night, resulting in a broken hip. He was hospitalized, and later was released.
However, the storm victim’s daughter, Tomeaka George, said the hip injury will require her father to undergo surgery.
This will pose a financial burden to Strickland, who has limited resources — $500 per month in Social Security benefits. That is his only source of income, according to George.
An assistance fund has been established at PNC Bank in Mount Airy to allow the public to make donations toward the medical expenses.
It has been set up as the Tomeaka George/Thomas Strickland Fund. George explained that her name was included to prevent Strickland’s Social Security benefits from being affected by the contributions. The bank’s address is 501 N. Main St., Mount Airy, NC, 27030.
Strickland’s was the only injury reported from Sunday’s storm, which also caused trees to fall on electrical lines and left some roads impassable.
The storm’s path stretched from McBride Road in the Mount Airy area to Westfield.
A tree also was reported to have fallen through a storage building on East Pine Street.
At first, officials feared that a tornado had struck the county, but this was not confirmed by meteorologists of the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.