Downsville woman says late husband saved her from fallen tree

DOWNSVILLE, La. (KNOE) - Tornadoes ripped through the ArkLaMiss Friday evening into Saturday morning.

Courtesy: Troy Cage

A Downsville woman’s house was almost destroyed by a tree, but she says she was saved by an angel - her husband.

Kerri Sonnier says she almost slept through Friday night's storm, but at 2:30 Saturday morning, her entire house shook.

"Of course at 2:30 in the morning you can't see what's going on,” she recalls. “So I went back to sleep. Four o'clock there's water dripping on my bed."

Daylight would later show a tree laying across her house, right above her bedroom.

"Just by looking at it, you can see it picked this tree up and laid it on the house," she describes.

To Sonnier, this house is more than just a set of walls. It was a gift from her husband Greg, that he started building from the ground up five years ago.

"It was his dream to build her this house, to have it for her in case something happened," her sister Tracy Hilburn says.

But Greg never got to finish what he started. He died about a year ago, leaving behind the unfinished project for Kerri.

"I’ve gotten the living room floor put down and I got the living room painted, but I’ve still got a lot to do as far as the kitchen and my bedroom," Kerri describes.

The unfinished house left even more issues. Kerri says she can't get insurance on it yet, which would help during disasters like this.

That's why her sister Tracy stepped up, posting Kerri's story on Facebook. Lucky for her, she reached the right person.

"I got a message to call Troy so I called Troy from Cajun Tree Cutters and he just volunteered to do it. Who just does that? Only a Godly person does that," she says.

Cage and his sons came out to remove the tree. When it was gone, just a few holes, a dented roof, and some broken boards were left behind.

"She's very lucky,” Cage says. “The house was very well built and the damages aren't as bad as what we've been seeing on other homes.”

Cage says the person who built this house may have saved Kerri’s life: her husband, Greg.

"Her husband built a really strong house. He's got the rafters on twelve inch centers,” Cage describes. “If it wasn’t for the house being built like it is, this tree would have ripped right through it."

Her family says it was a sign from heaven.

"It was a God thing. And I think that we all know when something is going to happen and He knew," Hilburn says.

Cage has also stepped up to help Kerri raise money to pay for the damages for her uninsured house. He’s accepting donations at his store, The Rustique Gator, in West Monroe.