Three-ton tree crashes into Truckee home | SierraSun.com

Three-ton tree crashes into Truckee home

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunAaron VIncent looks at the damage caused to his living room of his home in Truckee after a 130-foot tree crashed through his roof Monday night.
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Monday night was a chilly one for Truckee residents Laury and Aaron Vincent, whose home was smashed by a three-ton tree around midnight.

The couple was unharmed, but the same could not be said for their Sierra Meadows house.

“I heard the wind and a crashing, and I knew instantly what it was,” said Laury Vincent, who was nine-months pregnant at the time of the crash. “It’s weird ” I had a premonition about this.”

The Vincents have a 32-by-12.5-foot skate ramp in their backyard that took the brunt of the tree’s fall and likely kept the tree from slamming down into the bedroom where the couple was sleeping, Laury Vincent said.

“The top of the tree ” the top 20 or 30 feet ” fell just like a nail through the roof,” said neighbor Linda Hoopengarner.

That type of tree-top break is not uncommon in high winds, said Sam Watson of Sam Watson and Sons Tree Service.

“My family is fine and my animals are safe, so that’s all that really matters,” Laury Vincent said.

Another tree versus building incident occurred late Monday night at Donner Lake Village Resort, though little damage was sustained, said Lynda Perron, general manager of the rental properties.

A tree, 30 inches in diameter, snapped in three and fell against a rental condominium building, Perron said.

Guests were staying in the two rooms that were hit, but no one was harmed and the customers were able to move to new rooms without incident.

“We are so lucky,” Perron said. “Yes, the tree came down. Yes, it was a disruption to the guests, but everyone is fine and we are so glad.”

The first responders at Truckee Fire Protection District didn’t get much sleep Monday night, said Gene Welch, Truckee fire’s public safety and information officer.

Big tree falls like this are not typical, he added.

“It was a bad night with unique weather,” Welch said of the storm that raged through the Sierra Monday evening and brought to town winds in excess of 40 mph.

It’s hard to be prepared for such an event, he said, but there are plenty of precautions to take in the aftermath.

“The first thing you always want to do during a wind event ” before you even move ” is look up,” Welch said.

After evacuating a home, look for dangling power lines and “widow makers,” tree branches that have broken but are still hanging in the tree. It is also important to locate any downed power lines and to stay away from them, Welch said.

Disconnect or turn off all utilities, including gas, propane and electrical power to avoid fire, Welch said. Then seek shelter in a vehicle or at a neighbor’s house and call 911.

” The Sun’s Emma Garrard contributed to this report.