Community copes with storm

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ST. ELMO

Ten-year-old Robert Pettit was all alone when he woke to a tree smashing away the front wall of his bedroom.

His mother, Marcie, burst into the room and immediately panicked - the tree was right where her son's bed used to be in their Ochs Highway house.

"It coulda crushed me," Robert said.

Robert's room had been redecorated a week ago, and his bunk bed was moved from the front wall to the back, likely saving his life.

Overcoming her shock, Marcie Pettit grabbed her son and rushed him to the basement - which also doubles as the Pettit House bed-and-breakfast - to join his siblings.

Hours later, Robert ran around the front yard, playing with his friends during the storm's lull Wednesday afternoon.