Large tree knocked down by Michael rattles pregnant woman’s home, flattens car

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ATLANTA – It’s almost a given – whenever there’s heavy rain and wind in metro Atlanta, there will be trees down.

One woman experienced that first-hand Wednesday night, when Hurricane Michael whipped through the area.

Erica Militello said she went to bed at her Walthall Drive home, expecting a peaceful night. But it was soon interrupted by rain, wind, a screaming child and a fallen tree.

“It startled me,” Militello recalled. “I jumped up, I hear my son crying.”

She said the boom of the tree jarred her 3-year-old.

They lost power because of it, and spent 12 hours in the dark with nothing but a tangle of limbs in the yard to stare at, accompanied by the not-so-soothing sounds of tree trimmers.

Miraculously, the tree didn’t touch their house, but crushed their cars. Which made it hard for Militello, who’s seven months pregnant, to get to a Thursday morning doctor’s appointment.

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“So, I took an Uber the hospital and then just walked back,” she said.

The tree was originally on their neighbor’s property. Militello said she tried to do some preparation – when the tree guys came by last week, she said she asked about that tree.

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“I said, ‘Does it need to be trimmed?’ It’s not our tree, so we know we can’t do anything more than trim the branches above our yard, and he said it looked like a good tree,” Militello recounted. “Obviously, trimming branches wouldn’t have saved anything.”

If you’re ever in Militello’s situation, where a neighbor’s tree falls in your yard, you pay to clean up whatever falls in your yard. The only way this would change is if a certified arborist says there’s a risk of the tree falling, and a letter is sent to your neighbor telling them to remove the tree, making them liable.

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In this case, that didn’t happen. But Militello isn’t blaming anyone.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a frustration to take care of the car and the yard, but no one was hurt, so what more can you ask for really,” she said.

She is trying to figure out now what to do with two other huge trees in her backyard, one that happens to be sitting above her nursery. Now that she knows what Mother Nature can do, Militello said she’s not taking any risks. They finally got their power back around 3 p.m. Thursday.

© 2018 WXIA



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