Thursday’s Wind Storm Scores a Near Miss On A Missoula Home
Thursday's storm brought quarter-sized hail along with lightning and very strong winds, strong enough to knock out power and also to rip up a 60-foot tall blue spruce by the roots on Dixon Street, just off Reserve in Missoula.
The tree was uprooted from the front a yard and toppled onto a black car that was parked along the street.
Paul Melanson owns the damaged car and his fence was destroyed when the tree crashed down onto the street.
"I was at work on the Fort Missoula project when I got the call that the tree had come down," Melanson said. "They said it missed your house, but it took out your car. So, when I got home, we broke out the chainsaws and started cleaning the streets so at least traffic could get through. Everybody around the neighborhood pitched in, there was a ton of people pulling branches and we got everything cut away from the car and pulled it out so we could get more branches out of the street."
Melanson estimated the spruce to be between 50 and 60 feet tall and over 50 years old. He said he was prevented from doing more to remove the tree on the advice of his insurance adjuster.
"I had to wait for an insurance adjuster to come and look at all this, and they told me I couldn't even get it out of the street or do anything, but just to wait," he said. "For public safety, we obviously cut it up enough to get it out of the street so that cars could come through. They told me to just leave the rest, and I just hope I won't be liable for anything else."
Melanson said if the wind had been gusting in the opposite direction, the giant blue spruce could easily have taken out at least two homes.