Rockford woman demands removal of neighbor’s tree after ice storm collapse

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 7:26 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A woman hopes her neighbor removes what’s left of a tree that fell onto her yard and damaged her property during the recent ice storm.

“It was really cold last night. It’s cold and uncomfortable and dark,” said Melanie Clarke whose front yard was completely destroyed by the aftermath of the storm.

The sounds of Wednesdays ice storms seeped through the walls of Melanies home as she and her husband sat on their couch. A little while later, a loud pop followed by a thud and crash cut their cozy night a little short.

“I said, the trees finally falling,” said Clarke.

Within seconds, their power went out. Along with 13,000 other residents in Winnebago County, according to Com-Ed.

Melanie says her immediate concern went to a couple who live nearby with their newborn baby.

“For years when big storms hit, I’m always afraid it will go through one of our homes and kill someone,” Clarke expressed.

She says her neighborhood lacks curbs and gutters, making homes in the area susceptible to severe flooding. However, the downed tree in her yard is a different story. She hopes her neighbor gets the rest of the tree removed before they cause any more problems.

“It takes weeks to complete the clean-up. Initial emergency type stuff is done within a day or two and then after that it goes on and on,” said Kirk Williams, who rents the home next door to Clarke. Williams is also a board-certified master arborist.

An arborist is someone who studies the structure and function of trees.

“It’s pretty scary. We were coming back in from out of the country yesterday when we got news of this,” said Williams.

He says since this was a live tree, insurance will cover it under the “Act of God” rule. Williams says anyone with damage should not be too concerned about costly clean-ups.

“Our homes are littler, but we still are important. The damage it does to our cars and our homes and everything, it just. We deserve, we deserve better,” said Melanie.

Clarke says because of the electrical wires that were taken down by the tree, Com-Ed is unable to restore their electricity until they get the wires fixed.