Tall tree topples over on Tooele home amid strong winds

Dec 14, 2021, 10:27 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2021, 12:17 am

TOOELE, Utah — Those living in a house on the city’s east side had a rude awakening early Tuesday morning as powerful winds and gusts did their worst.

Steven Rivera said at about 4 a.m. he was awakened by a 30-foot-tall tree falling on his home, which is located near 400 East on Highland Drive.

“It just went boom!” Rivera exclaimed as he pounded his fist into his palm. “It was a solid hit.”

The tree had toppled over, exposing the roots. It did some damage to the roof.

“We were kind of lucky we didn’t get injured or, you know, it came through the house altogether,” Rivera said.

The damage came amid a high wind warning and gusts reported at over 70 miles-per-hour.

Rivera said he had worried about the tree before because of a shallow root system, but never really thought it would fall.

It had been planted by his father there in 1960. It actually wasn’t the first tree to topple onto the home.

“We had one other tree, too, that fell over the same way right here,” Rivera said as he pointed to where he stood out in front of his house. “It fell over and left a big hole in the roof.”

Rivera, his relatives and neighbors helped to cut up the tree and clean up the grounds Tuesday afternoon and evening.

He said what happened gave him a renewed appreciation for nature’s fury.

“We didn’t expect that,” Rivera acknowledged. “It was an old tree — it was part of the family.”

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Tall tree topples over on Tooele home amid strong winds