Prized Trees Create Path of Destruction


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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – They’re a prized fixture on the block of Argyle Oval, but during Monday night’s storm, several trees created a path of destruction.

“Around 5:30, I had just driven in the driveway,” said Sharyl Chapman, who lives in the neighborhood. “I had stepped out on my front porch to see how this tree that’s been leaning for years looked, and all of a sudden, I saw it going down.”

A large oak tree came crashing down on Chapman’s house, her car and neighbor Phil Satayathum’s house.

“Every time there’s a wind storm, we always look out the window,” Satayathum said. “A lot of restless nights.”

The neighbors had been asking the city to trim the tree’s long branches for years, but Chapman said the request was denied.

“All the branches toward the house were all the branches it had, so it was top-heavy too,” she said. “We were afraid one good wind would take it down, and it did.”

The two said they were thankful for the city’s quick response with cleaning up the mess, which damaged portions of their roofs and windows.

“The bedroom on the second floor has holes on the roof, “ Chapman said, “so because of the water coming down, that room is ruined, and because they couldn’t get any tarp until the tree was gone, now everything is wet.”

A clean-up crew spent several hours breaking down the tree Wednesday morning.

The crew used a crane to remove the tree from its top portion, and worked their way down.

Satayathum’s chimney was damaged from the storm. While the clean-up workers were removing a portion of the chimney, part of it dropped on top of Chapman’s car.

“Yes, there was a loud cash. That was the chimney falling on my car,” she said. “It’s probably completely totaled, or damaged the house more, so I’m sad to see that happen.”

Now Satayathum and Chapman are anxious to get electricity back in their neighborhood and eventually assess the damage.

“What’s next? Rebuild the house,” Satayathum said. “We just basically remodeled the house last year, and I guess we’ll start over again this year.”

“Thank God that we’re all OK,” Chapman added. “I know it will all work out. It’s all in God’s hands, and I just need to keep going and we’ll find a way to get it all fixed.”

*For more on Superstorm Sandy’s wrath locally and nationally click here.*

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