March 8, 2012
Winds as strong as 40mph brought down a tree Thursday afternoon, sending it crashing into the house below on Oakleaf Lane in Charlottesville. Now the owner is left wondering what he's going to do with his severely damaged home.
"The damage is worse when you're inside than what it looks like from the outside because all you're seeing is the open attic area. You go inside and see that the ceiling in one of the bedrooms has caved in," explained Patty Armstrong, a property maintenance inspector.
Armstrong and other Charlottesville building inspectors were called to the home off Rose Hill Drive to make sure its structural integrity was not compromised. The home's renters were not inside at the time, and they will not be allowed back until it's all patched up.
"The fire department also responded. They're looking for the same things and making sure the breakers are off and the gas lines are OK," Armstrong said.
Meanwhile, high winds also caused traffic problems in the city. Virginia Department of Transportation crews responded to a downed tree on Ivy Road and partially blocked traffic while cutting up the branches to make it easier to haul away.
Back on Oakleaf Lane, the homeowner, renters and neighbors are just thankful that the best possible scenario played out.
"It could've been worse," said Armstrong. "Especially if it was nighttime and people were in the house or it was raining. The plus side is that no one was home."