By BRIDGET COOK
A CRANBOURNE woman says the council could have acted to stop a car being crushed by a falling tree in Tuesday’s storms.
The huge gumtree out the front of Theresa Deering’s house, in Bamboo Court, came down on Tuesday morning, crushing a visitor’s car and writing it off.
Ms Deering said the situation could have been avoided if the City of Casey removed the tree at her request, something she had been pushing them to do for more than three years.
“I first contacted the council about three years ago when my daughter and three grandchildren moved in with me, due to safety concerns I had with it,” she said.
“The roots were so exposed and it had shifted the driveway.
“At that time the council came and put a bit of grass seed and topsoil over the tree.
“But because the tree and roots were so elevated, with a bit of rain and wind all the dirt just ran off and went into the gutter.”
Ms Deering said she again contacted the council about four months ago, after she tripped over a stump from the tree and injured herself.
She said a council worker visited at the time, but did not seem interested in her concerns and treated her rudely.
“He said to me ‘do you realise how much of a root system is underground that you can’t see’,” she said.
“He told me it was a perfectly healthy and safe tree and there was nothing else they could do.
“I was terrified about this tree. My concerns were first for my grandchildren and daughter, if it was to come down, and then for my property.
“I was listening to the winds on Monday night and was actually worried about whether it might come down.”
Ms Deering said she was just so thankful that no-one was hurt, but said it was still a massive inconvenience for her friend who now didn’t have a car.
“I’m just so angry,” she said.
“If my grandchildren where out there, or any of the other children from the court, then this could have been fatal.
“It’s just not good enough.
“A poor lady is now left without her car for weeks, can’t get to work and has to fork out the excess on her insurance.
“This was all caused through the council not removing the tree when it should have been.”
City of Casey manager parks and reserves Trevor Griffin said the tree had been inspected previously on a number of occasions by independent consultant arborists and was deemed healthy.
“Council has visited the property and is removing the fallen tree,” he said.
For more on how the weather wreaked havoc across Casey on Tuesday, turn to page 7.