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Tree with complaint history falls on house, city says they're not responsible for damage

3 weeks 14 hours 46 minutes ago Tuesday, May 21 2024 May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024 5:51 PM May 21, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A large tree fell on a man's home last week during severe weather. Kenneth Williams tells 2 On Your Side it's a tree he's made complaints about to the city multiple times.

Williams, who lives off of Mohican Street in Baton Rouge, says things could have been different.

"I'm just disgusted," he said.

The tree fell Thursday night. He was sitting watching TV when he heard a loud boom and knew what it was right away. Limbs are now poking through his walls and roof. The impact caused his pier and beam house to shift. Williams now uses a screwdriver to open his back door.

This isn't Williams' first natural disaster. He had six feet of water in his house in 2016, but he says this incident could have been prevented.

"When you call and complain about something you shouldn't have to call five or six times to get something done," he said.

Williams called the city about a tall, rotting tree hanging over his house on April 2, 2024. According to the parish, someone came out to inspect the tree on April 25 and rerouted the problem to another department. The tree fell on the night of May 16.

On Monday, May 20, Williams received an email from the city letting him know his work order had been closed and the city is not responsible for the tree because it was growing in the servitude. The city has access to a servitude but it's the adjacent property owner's responsibility to maintain.

"They kept postponing telling me someone was going to come out and they never did," Williams said.

It's information Williams says might have changed the outcome.

"It could have been prevented, man," he said.

Williams is looking for help trying to get the tree off of his house so he can patch up the holes and secure his property before it rains again. He has homeowner's insurance and already started the claim process.

The city suggests residents contact 311 if you’re not sure why a service request was closed. If you’re still not sure, contact constituent services at the Mayor’s Office at 225-389-3100 or mayor@brla.gov.

For another resource regarding trees and property lines, check out the online assessors map: https://atlas.geoportalmaps.com/ebr.

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