CHEEKTOWAGA – A wind gust snapped a large tree on Avery Place in the Pine Hill Fire District toppling it over blocking traffic and causing minor damage to a nearby home and car.
The tree snapped at its base around 4 pm Wednesday afternoon. It fell across Herbert Avenue and onto the back portion of an Avery Place home. Branches fell onto a parked car. The tree also snapped a power pole and brought down power lines as well.
Recorded wind gusts in Cheektowaga around the time of the incident were around 20 mph.
National Grid de-energized the lines knocking power out to a handful of customers.
The tree was on the back of Yolanda Snead’s Avery Place property. She was sleeping for her upcoming work shift and didn’t hear the tree fall because she had earplugs in, but when she woke up this afternoon and looked out the window she was shocked.
“There’s a fire truck; firemen are all over the place. There’s no power on at my house, and I’m like, ‘what’s going on?'” said Ms. Snead.
She tells the Cheektowaga Chronicle that she knew the trees were going to be trouble when she bought her house over 10-years ago. She approched the town back then asking if she could remove the “dying trees.”
“I was informed that there’s a line between my house and my neighbor’s garage and that is Cheektowaga’s property line and that I couldn’t cut the trees down. I could cut the trees down on my property but not on that line,” added Ms. Snead.
“They’re all old trees, they’re all leaning, and you can tell that they’re messed up, or they’re dying. I don’t understand it; I knew this was going to happen.”
A town highway worker on the scene said he could not confirm the property lines without looking at a map.
Pine Hill firefighters were seen aiding National Grid crews by cutting parts of the tree with a chainsaw and performing traffic control. The highway department will assure that the rest of the tree is cleared from the road.
Ms. Snead is counting her blessings for the wind was blowing in the direction that it was.
“Oh my God yes, because as big as that tree was that would have definitely fell on my house.”