Out-of-town crane needed to pull massive tree off Memphis house

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland's office said the Public Works division is now shifting its focus toward getting storm debris out of neighborhoods, now that it has finally finished clearing more than 500 trees from city streets.

However, more than a week after the storm, some Memphians are just now getting trees off of their homes.

"There was not a tree company in town that had a big enough crane to get it off," Darlene Fountain said about the 100-year-old tree that fell onto her Chickasaw Gardens home.

The crane that was needed finally arrived from Texarkana. Crews chopped the tree over the weekend and on Monday, one lane was closed on Poplar Avenue in order to lift the tree.

"The owner of the tree company said it's a miracle that I was not killed, " Fountain said, "That the house had to be very structurally sound to prevent the roof from caving in over where I was in the bathroom."

Fountain hid in a downstairs bathroom with no windows when the storm blew through Memorial Day weekend.

The tree took out her son's bedroom, destroying the entire roof of the house and leaving a huge hole.

"If my son, Colin, had been in his bed, he would be dead now," she said.

Due to the heavy rain over the weekend, water leaked through the hole in the roof.

Fountain and movers packed up her belongings last week. She estimates she will be out of her home for at least six months.

"You count your blessings. It's all stuff and can be replaced. I think it's time for me to downsize, and God helped," she said.

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