Downed tree damages 2 homes in Essex

Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 23:17:04-04

A tree downed by storms Monday afternoon fell across three properties and damaged two homes in Essex.

It happened shortly after 4 p.m. along Frenchs Avenue. Neighbor Melvin Gerry Jr. says he watched it happen.

"I saw it blow over. I thought it was coming my way," he said. "I don't know what was going through my mind, but I'm like, 'I'm glad it's 30 feet shorter!'"

Due to proximity to the Middle River, Gerry says the ground often gets saturated during heavy rains and strong winds have no trouble knocking trees down. 

One of the damaged homes belonged to Nicole Nida's in-laws. Her two young children were staying with them when tree branches came through the ceiling. 

"My son actually said, 'I guess Nanny and Pop-Pop are going to live with us now. Everyone else lives with us, why can't they?'" she said.

Nida believes the house is structurally sound, but residents were forced to leave while crews check for gas leaks. Monday night, family and friends worked to cut the tree apart using chainsaws.

No one was hurt.

"That's all you can hope for, that everyone's OK in a situation like this," Nida said, "and they are thank goodness."