Homeowner Looks To City For Rescue From Fallen Tree

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 5, 2012 Updated Jul 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The big storm that hit Fort Wayne on Friday toppled thousands of trees.

One of them is now lying on Ron Muckway's two-story house at 201 West Woodland Avenue.

The city is scheduled to come out and assess the situation Friday.

Muckway has learned the hard way that life can throw you some nasty curveballs.

" My neighbor, she said, Ron, there's a tree on your house, and I'm like, no. Then I looked up and yeah, there's a tree on my house," says Muckway.

It's a Maple Tree to be exact, and it's big.

It blew out upstairs windows when the falling tree's limbs crashed into the second floor.

How's this for bad timing, Muckway just moved in that same day.

Muckway: " Just two a.m., and then at 3 in the afternoon, boom."

He contacted the city's 311 call center for help.

He says he was told the city would take care of removal.

First, he was informed it would be tagged a “priority issue”.

Then, in a follow-up call July 2nd, he claims the status was changed to "immediate action".

Six days later, the tree isn't gone.

His patience is fleeing.

" I know that there's other stuff they have to do too, but if this were somebody's house that were quote "important" in town, do you think the tree would still be on the roof? I don’t think so," Muckway said.

In fairness, the city is under the gun.

Crews are scrambling to deal with a host of storm-related problems.

Muckway is keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be smiling Friday.

The city has pledged to come out and look things over.

The rule of thumb is that if a tree falls over onto your property, the City of Fort Wayne will remove it, if it originated in the park strip, which is the strip of ground between the curb and the sidewalk.

That's the case with the tree that clobbered Muckway's house.

If the tree was growing on private property, removal is the responsibility of the homeowner.

In either situation, the city says you should contact your insurance company, and get direction on what your next step should be.

Citizens with damage issues can go to the City of Fort Wayne’s website, and click on the city clerk’s page, where there is a form that can be filed if the complainant wants to pursue a damage claim against the city.

An investigation will be conducted on all claims that are filed.

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