3 weeks later, tree downed by Isaias still leaning on home in NYC

Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Homeowner speaks out about tree down on her house since Isaias hit
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NJ Burkett reports on the tree that's still down on a home from Isaias.

FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens (WABC) -- Tropical Storm Isaias blew through and knocked down trees across the area - but why is one still leaning on a house three weeks later?

Now the homeowner is speaking out and describing the battle she's gone through to get it removed.

It's bad enough that the tree crashed into the house. Bad enough that the tree is enormous. What is worse, is that it's nearly impossible to get to -- in a neighborhood chock-full of homes off Seagirt Boulevard where there's no space to get in and remove it.

Nerine Mowatt says she and her mother are running out of patience.

Mowatt says she is disgusted and upset. Everything else has been cleaned up except for the tree on her house.

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Isaias swept through New York on Aug. 4, leaving a trail of toppled trees and cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes, some of them for days.

But three weeks later, the tree in Mowatt's backyard is still there and rainwater flows from cracks in the roof.

Ten days ago, a tree removal company brought in a huge crane to try to reach the tree from the street, but the crane was five feet too short.

For the tree removal company, this is apparently the equivalent of brain surgery. They need to park a bigger crane out on the street. It will have to reach across the power lines-and over the neighbors' homes-and then lift the tree out, in sections. It's a big job.

And after Eyewitness News made some calls Tuesday, Parks Department workers arrived to scope it out, but were unable to help because the tree is on private property.

She's waiting for the city to issue a crane permit, but Mowatt says she's confident.

"Because I trust Channel 7 on my side," she said.

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