ERIE, Pa. — Powerful winds snapped a large tree Sunday afternoon at Glenwood Park near the Erie Zoo.
It flattened sections of two pavilions and damaged a third one. The Erie Fire Department was called to the scene shortly before 3:45 p.m., where people who had gathered in the area escaped without injury.
Meanwhile, on Fairmount Parkway near Harrison St, or just down the block from Diehl Elementary School, a relaxing afternoon was also interrupted.
“Just in my living room. Sunday, family day, and we heard a loud crash; and we looked outside, and we did see the limb laying in the street,” said Erie resident Ronald Baum.
Baum has lived in his Fairmount Parkway home for a decade. Over the past several years, he and his neighbors have been dealt blows from dead or decaying trees.
“We’ve had a few cars damaged. Luckily no one was in those cars, but if one of these big tree limbs came down and somebody was driving by and it would’ve hit them or if a pedestrian–it would definitely do some serious damage.”
In Millcreek Township, a car was damaged when one of two fallen trees trees struck it in the 2200 block of Lakeview Drive. No was hurt.
Around the same time, a resident in the 800 block of East Avenue called for help after hearing loud bangs on the roof and discovering chimney crumbling to the ground.
All across the region, people had stories.
“I actually sat on my front porch.. and watched it come in and it was kind of neat to hear it come in and see it coming in and we got off the porch,” said Craig Miller of Albion.
Erie resident Desiree Nolan said the afternoon skies were unrecognizable.
“And it just felt like it was 6 or 7, and it was so dark, windy. It was pouring. I had to pull over a couple of times, because the windshield wipers weren’t working too good. It was actually pretty scary to drive in that weather,” she said.
And some people hope that sharing their stories might help prevent a tragedy.
“Pull some funds from somewhere. I know they can do it. I mean we all pay taxes here. This is a good, taxing paying neighborhood here. Just pull some of that money and come down here and please take these trees and get them taken care of,” said Baum.
According to the Department of Public Works, Property & Parks, care and tree removal of the city-owned easement, or the land between the sidewalk and the street, is the responsibility of the homeowner. A tree removal application states that it is a “courtesy” for the City to remove the trees. It adds that “city funds for tree removals are limited.”