A 70- to 80-year-old Laurel Oak did just that, splitting in half at 2004 New Orleans East in southeast Seminole Heights.
Tampa, Florida -- Local arborists tell 10 News falling trees is inevitable with the amount of rain we have had. On Tuesday morning, a 70- to 80-year-old Laurel Oak did just that, splitting in half at 2004 New Orleans East in southeast Seminole Heights.
"The whole house was rumbling, we were all rattled from it but thank goodness, no one out there, or in here, was hurt," said Reginald Kelley, who's property and daughter's red car was damaged by the fallen oak.
The Kelley's neighbors, the Smiths, share ownership of the Laurel Oak with their neighbor and the city. The city said they will take responsibility for the fallen oak and the remaining trunk that was still erect as of Tuesday evening.
That remaining trunk, that's split, poses a dangerous situation for the other neighbors. The Parks and Recreation Department said it would come down in less than two days.
The Tampa Electric Company spent the morning restoring power to all the homes.
The arborist said the summer rains get quickly soaked up by the oak trees and then the branches get heavy and break. He said there is no way of predicting when a tree might split or fall, but there are signs you can look for, like decay, mushrooms growing from the roots and fallen branches. Those signs should be examined by an arborist.
The Smiths said they had wanted to cut the tree back for years but, when they called the city, they were told they needed a permit. They did not get one so the tree kept growing into the power lines.