Strong weekend winds take down tree limb blocking Brooks Street

Photo by: Lisa Guenther

Several strong thunderstorms ripped through Western Montana over the weekend bringing lightning, hail and gusty winds.

Lisa Guenther, a Missoula homeowner says strong winds ripped down the limb of a tree blocking a portion of the 700 block of Brooks Street across the Vietnam Veterans memorial.

"A gust came through and I heard a womp," Guenther said. "I opened the front door and saw that a big branch had come all the way down across Brooks [street]."

Guenther said she immediately thought "oh my God, there's cars out there, somebody could get hurt."

She and handful of people ran to the rescue to try and clear the road.

"There was a UHaul out here. I ran out to see if we could get a path. Then a bunch of people 5 or 6 started running up. A bunch of people came running up moving the branches," Guenther said. 

Missoula city fire and police responded to the incident. No was was injured.

By Monday morning, the Missoula urban forestry crews were picking up pieces of the storm's aftermath.

"The reports we got over the weekend were about a dozen, and then they’ve slowly been trickling in," Marie Anderson the city's urban forestry specialist said. 

She said it's been a busy Monday responding to calls of storm damage. She says some ripped tree limbs can be on private property, others on public property. She says 

"A good rule of thumb, [on who pays for storm damage] is if they do have a boulevard. If there’s a tree in between the sidewalk and the street then that’s more than likely a Missoula city right of way tree," Anderson said. 

While the debris from Saturday's storms are nearly cleaned up outside Guenther's house, she needs to check whether there was damage to her house.

 

"I have four skylights and the hail came down pretty hard. I was worried that they might break. I'm gonna call the insurance to see if there was damage to the roof and skylights," Guenther said.

Anderson said Brooks St was the only road closure in the city of Missoula over the weekend from strong storms. 

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