• Neighbors, crews cleaning up after storm brings down trees

    By: Paige Hansen


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - All weekend, Eyewitness News showed you the destruction as trees in our area came crashing down. Crews Monday were at dozens of sites, cleaning up from the storm, and Channel 9's meteorolgosits said more rain on the way.

    Chainsaws and cherry pickers are all Frank Culbreth saw from his bench on Topping Place Monday as crews removed a massive tree from his home.

    "Sounded like a train coming," Culbreth said. "Then everything was real quiet and you wondered, 'What in the world has happened?'"

    As rain poured Saturday, the oak tree that stood in his neighbors' backyard for years came down without warning.

    "I heard a thud and I turned and looked at the window, just as I heard this massive roar of thunder," Tami Whiteside, whose tree fell, said. "Well, what I thought was thunder."

    Whiteside's tree uprooted and came down onto Culbreth's home, causing damage inside and out. Crews Monday used a crane to remove the tree, limb by limb. Local tree experts said they've received dozens of calls since Saturday to come and remove fallen trees.

    "We're not able to answer all the calls we're getting at the moment," Patrick George, of Heartwood Tree Service said.  
    On Ridgewood Avenue, another large tree came down through a backyard garage. In both cases, no one was hurt.

    With all the trees in the area, tree experts said the most important thing you can do is get your trees inspected once a year, something they say most people aren't doing. George estimated about 10 percent of people do, but says only the large trees really need to be inspected once a year, or the trees where you've noticed changes.  George said you should be on the lookout for changes like the way a tree is leaning, or mushrooms or cracks growing around the base of the tree.

    The rain has saturated the ground, and with more rain on the way, experts said roots will have a tough time holding on, especially as leaves grow heavy with all the moisture.

    "You put all this weight up here and eventually you're going to fall over," George said.

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