If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?
They heard it last Friday night, at about midnight, when two tall cedars smashed on to the roof during the wicked storm when northern outflow winds tore into the Lower Mainland.
The trees fell on to the home of former MLA Doug Bing’s inlaws in the Fern Crescent area of Maple Ridge on Dec. 8.
“It was just a huge noise. I guess it was just a loud, sudden noise that woke them up,” Bing said this week.
But then everything was quiet again and the couple went back to sleep.
It wasn’t until the next morning that they found the two trees resting on the roof.
It could have been worse. The branches could have smashed their way through roof joists completely and opened up the entire house to the outside.
But somehow the impact was eased and superficially at least, the damage seems limited to the eaves with maybe a small hole in the roof.
“There’s no leaking inside the house,” Bing said.
The cedars could be salvagable as lumber if they were able to be removed in long sections but because of the limits on the size of trucks that can access the site, the trees instead will have to be hoisted up, cut into smaller sections, then hauled away in worthless pieces.
Bing said the trees that fell were on the same property as the home and the damage is being covered by home insurance.
The insurance company asked that an adjuster be on the scene first before any repairs started. Once the trees are removed, an engineer will come in and inspect the roof and decide on any repairs.
Bing expects repairs will take a few weeks and the meantime, the house is being lived in.
Not far away, in Maple Ridge Park, another tree blew down Saturday, ripping down a powerline, narrowly missing a motorist and blocking all of 232nd Street. Trees also fell down in the same location during Dec. 20’s wind storm.
Darrell Denton, property manager with the City of Maple Ridge, said that if a tree on municipal property fell on to a neighbouring home, residents are advised to make a claim with their home insurance company.
If a homeowner believes it’s the city’s fault, residents can file a claim against the city.
“Given the sheer magnitude of trees spread out over the city’s 266 square kilometres, the city simply does not have the resources to inspect each one. Rather, its policy is to inspect individual trees on a complaint-basis only, as per its current inspection policy,” said Denton.