KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Many neighborhoods are cleaning up after the second winter storm in five days. Several families spent all day Wednesday cleaning up after a 25,000 pound tree fell onto a repurposed house at 51st and Westwood.
Tree specialists removed branches from the massive tree and shredded the timber on the street. Meanwhile, the people who were in the apartment complex when the tree collapsed said they are thankful to be alive.
“I just heard this huge crack, and before I could even put together a sentence, I just heard this huge crash upstairs,” resident Tim Banks said.
Banks was sleeping in the downstairs apartment when the massive 95-year-old tree smashed onto his building.
“I’ve seen that tree back there so many times and just thought, ‘Hey, it’s a big tree for shade.’ Never thought it would come out of the ground like that,” he said.
Patrick Burke was asleep in the upstairs apartment when the tree hit the roof, right above his bedroom.
“It was just a loud crash we heard, and just jumped out of the bed as fast as I’ve ever jumped out of bed,” Burke said.
Three specialist Michael Dougherty said it’s difficult for older trees to hold up during major storms.
“There are outward signs that would have indicated that this tree may have had some underlying issues,” the urban forester said.
Dougherty said there may have been decay at the base or in the trunk. And, according to Dougherty, maintaining a proper pruning regiment can help homeowners avoid tree collapses.
In the meantime, Burke and Banks hope this will be their last near death experience. It took a three ton crane to remove the tree from their home.
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Suzanne McCanles is Head of School at Oakhill Day School in Gladstone, Mo. Five years ago, a tornado damaged the school overnight. She says she's heartbroken to look at the damage at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.