Two Midtown homes damaged, SUV totaled by fallen tree

No one injured as large oak tree comes down on house 30 feet from where a homeowner was working in her office.

A very large oak tree was toppled Thursday afternoon in the Midtown neighborhood that resulted in structural damage to two homes on Myrtle Street near 4th Street.

Homeowner Amy Houtchens said she was working at her desk around 4 p.m. when the tree was felled from her neighbor's yard onto her house.

“It came crashing down about 30 feet from where I was working in the front office,”Houtchens told Patch. “It was very scary.”

Her SUV parked on the street was totaled by the tree, which roots apparently finally gave way as a result of the heavy amounts of rain that the area has received during the first weeks of the new year.

Falling oak trees in Midtown and surrounding neighborhoods has not been uncommon in recent years.

While crews were cutting up and removing the tree Friday afternoon, Houtchens was waiting outside to receive an overall damage assessment from her insurance company.

“I’m just glad everyone’s OK,” she said, adding that she was concerned about another large tree still standing in the back yard of the same property where Thursday's accident originated from.

In 2011, the city began a pilot program to count and assess the health of the 9,000-plus tress that line Atlanta’s streets and parks. Following an active weather season in spring 2011 when there were several storm- and tree-related deaths and accidents, the $55,000 program was started to better regulate tree care and beef up tree ordinances.

It is estimated that 27 percent of the city is covered with trees, and tree loss in the city has been attributed to a variety of reasons, including severe drought, intensely powerful storms, an increase in invasive species and pests and natural causes.

Many of the magnificent water oaks in the area typically live between 80 and 90 years, which is roughly the length of time many of them have currently been standing.

What do you think? Are you concerned about your neighborhood or property's trees with the spring storm season approaching?

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