KEY LARGO, Fla. – Dillon Deese was on his couch watching a movie when the tempestuous wind ripped a massive Bayan tree out of the ground and crushed his home with it.
Tropical Storm Eta’s torrential rain didn’t stop Alex Lubja and Deese’s other Key Largo neighbors from running outside of their homes to investigate the loud noise.
Lubja said he saw Deese crawling out from under what was left of the home.
“When he climbed out he was just kind of like bleeding from his head and stuff,” Lubja said.
“He said he was pinned for a moment but got out," Deese’s neighbor Anna Simmons said.
When neighbors asked if there was anyone else inside the home, Luja said his 5-year-old dog, a chocolate brown Labrador Retriever named Aries, was with him right before the tree fell on his roof. His neighbors pried a window open and shined a light inside. It turns out Aries was able to jump under the kitchen island and was safe.
“I told him that his dog was ok and he almost broke down into tears,” Ljuba said.
Deese said he was glad to be alive.
In other parts of Key Largo, there were streets underwater and more property damage. The wind destroyed a sign, bending metal and ripping wood apart.
Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers ordered residents of mobile homes and low-lying neighborhoods to evacuate and rescinded the order on Monday afternoon.
The heavy rain also caused flooding in areas of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Meanwhile, officials in Cuba were assessing the damage. In Central America, the hurricane left about 70 dead. Hundreds vanished in landslides. There was flooding in areas of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Local 10 viewer picture of effects of Eta in South Florida.