Sherry was sleeping in her San Francisco home when she heard a thunderous roar one December morning around 5:30 am.
“It shook the house like an earthquake,” Sherri said, declining to give her last name.
A huge tree fell down a steep hill near her home near Dorothy Erskine Park, crashed into the wall of her parents’ bedroom while they were sleeping, broke through the wall and caved in the floor during a Dec. 11 storm.
Sherry says her twin sons, 21, now share a bed due to the damaged room.
Although no one was hurt, Sherry and her family were shocked by the incident. She and her parents find it difficult to fall asleep when they hear any loud noises, including thunder.
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“We are traumatized by the incident. The rumble is very similar to falling trees,” Sherry said.
The impact caused more than $103,000 worth of damage to Sherry’s home, according to a quote from a contractor seen by The Standard. But her insurance company AAA paid out just $17,500, along with $574 monthly payments for an uninhabitable bedroom.
“There just isn’t enough money,” Sherri said.
Sherry sued the city for financial damages—the tree that fell on her house was on city property—but was denied.
“Our investigation into the incident revealed that the tree was located on undeveloped land, and that there is no record that the city was alerted to the danger of its fall,” according to an email sent to Sherri by the city’s attorney’s office. Standard.
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The city’s dismissal letter, which she received on February 16, said she could sue the city, but Sherry said hiring a lawyer was not an option for her.
“We are not made of money. This is ridiculous. The city has to protect the residents, but the reaction of the city shows that they are more interested in protecting themselves,” Sherry said.
Sherry’s house was not the only one hit by a fallen tree on December 11th.
Octavio di Schiullo woke up when a tree fell and entered his 9-year-old daughter’s room, breaking through the wall while she was sleeping and making their home uninhabitable, first reported by the Glen Park Association.
“It ended up being very traumatic for my daughter,” di Sciullo said. “She has trouble sleeping when the weather is windy and rainy like today. She’s worried that another tree might fall.”
Now Sherry and her Bosworth Street neighbors are worried that trees are falling on their homes as storms continue to hit the Bay Area.
The city’s attorney’s office said the public is not required to notify the city of dangerous trees, but the complaint helps the city fight trees that could cause harm.
“The city was not the cause of this storm and there was no indication that this particular tree broke during the storm,” the city’s attorney’s office said in an email.
Doing it right
While getting damages from the city can be difficult for Sherry, she received $85,000 from AAA on Tuesday after Standard contacted the insurance company about the story.
Shortly before publication, three more trees fell near Sherry’s house, according to di Schiullo, Sherry’s neighbor.
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The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department declined to comment on the complaint and deferred questions about the health of the trees to the city’s attorney’s office, which said it was unable to find the information prior to publication.
Garrett Leahy can be reached in [email protected]