Storm delivers setback to Gatlinburg man rebuilding home after wildfires


GATLINBURG (WATE) – Dean Cato decided to rebuild his house himself after the wildfires, but Thursday’s storm caused damage to the nearly finished home.

“All of a sudden there was a huge bang and I turned and a huge tree branch had come through my ceiling and hit me, knocked me to the ground. Knocked me out for a moment,” said Cato.

When Cato came to, he realized he needed to get out of the house quickly.

Previous story: Gatlinburg man rebuilding home after wildfires, getting closer to moving in

“I turned around and looked and I thought my entire home was gone,” said Cato. “I saw wood flying and trees coming down. A total of nine trees fell. Three of them hit my house.”

The two-story home sustained damage to multiple areas of the home including the roof and deck. Cato suffered from an injured arm and is now in a sling.

“I know I’m going to fix it,” he said. “It’s just disheartening right now.”

Cato says despite the setback he will continue to rebuild because this is home.

“I can’t look at the big picture I just have to look at the next thing to do,” he said. “Right now I need to get the trees off my house then we’ll take a look at the structure and go from there.”

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