The horror tree
by The Press and Standard | July 5, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 3, 2018 at 11:49 am
After years of problems, giant oak falls on Williams home.
Fortunately, Donna Anderson decided to spend the night with her mother on June 24.
Fortunate because in the wee hours of June 25, a severe thunderstorm brought down a huge oak tree on her home in Williams, completely crushing her sunroom and doing major damage to the home’s main roof.
About 2 a.m. Monday morning, Anderson said “my dog ‘Cricket’ shot off the bed and was barking and barking. I guess she had an intuition or maybe she heard it. The wind was blowing real hard and it was thundering and lightning. The wind was flapping the screen door.”
Her neighbor heard the crash and told Anderson it was really loud.
By Thursday afternoon, the tree had settled and completely obliterated that side of the home. “When it first fell, a skinny person could get in the door. But now, nobody can get in. The whole top of my dryer is off. I had cat food and I can’t even find it.” The fate of the washing machine is still to be determined.
Anderson grew up in the little brick house on a side street in Williams — her parents, Elwood and Geneva Robertson, bought the house 45 years ago when she was 10. She raised her two children, Jeanette and Matthew, there. Her grandson continued the family tradition of generations of children swinging from a big rope tied to the tree. Now Anderson wonders if that rope may have weakened the tree in some way.
She’d planned to have the tree cut down, as soon as her finances allowed, because of its history. A couple of years ago, a huge limb fell on her son-in-law’s truck, completely crushing the cab. “Several times huge limbs have fallen and we had to get them cut up. When the ice storm came a few years back, one big limb fell up against the back door and my ex-husband cut that up. Now this,” she said. “You can’t even see my glass door and my screen door now. And all the windows are leaning and now the roof’s fallen in.”
And with no insurance, she’s hoping that the money to fix her home will materialize. She’s called FEMA and the Red Cross to no avail.
She wants to fix her home and move back in. “Mama is 85 and kind of set in her ways. I’m 55 and kind of set in my ways. I’d have a lot more room over here and I’d have more neighbors.”
Her cousin, Lee “Bug” Murdaugh, of Murdaugh’s Tree Service was scheduled to come cut the tree up last Friday. Then Anderson can get a better idea of what she’s dealing with.
A couple of weeks ago, she’d gotten an estimate on fixing damage to the house from Hurricane Matthew, when another tree fell on her chimney. Now she’s got to get another one.
But she’s glad the tree is finally gone. “This is a bad tree, a horror tree.”
Now maybe she can get her life back. But “we’ve got some work to do.”