‘I couldn’t believe what I saw’ – Tree falls on Little Falls family’s home

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Powerful storms moved through the state Thursday night, leaving behind significant damage in some areas.

One Little Falls family says that they were surprised to find that a tree had fallen on their home, especially since they were supposed to have one of the trees on their property removed Friday anyway.

Ron Tolemeo says that his brother-in-law who lives across the street was scheduled to have a dead tree removed from his property. But instead, it was a healthy tree that came crashing down on the family’s home.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw, which was a tree in the kitchen,” Tolemeo says. “It didn’t surprise me from the winds that were coming down the street.”

RELATED: Powerful winds and severe thunderstorms down trees, power lines across state 

Casey Walentowicz of Aspen Tree Service says that the tree that fell did not show any signs of decay and was perfectly healthy. But he says that sometimes it is healthy trees that can pose the most danger.

“The live trees have a full canopy of leaves. They catch the winds like a sail pretty much…they have the water weight up there,” he says. “What happened is this combination of rain loosening the soil, low-lying area - you get the right combination of wind and rain and no tree is safe."

Aspen Tree Service will be back Saturday to remove the dead tree from the property as well. But Walentowicz says that there is a long list of cleanup to take care of in northern New Jersey.

“We just try to get to it in order of priority. If it’s on a house, that’s No. 1 priority. If it’s on a car, No. 2 and if it’s in your front lawn, No. 3,” he says.

Tree experts recommend that homeowners have large trees on their property inspected regularly and to take down the dead ones. They say that while the lives ones can fall during a storm, unhealthy trees can come down at any time.

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