Tree in NW Atlanta Falls on House, Owner Blames City

12:55 AM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The flood watch for north Georgia this weekend means that the trees that are unstable may be even more likely to fall because of the saturated soil.

Just ask the frustrated homeowner who received word while at work Friday that a giant hardwood was on its side across his house, sunken into what had been his roof.

For months, with dread, he'd seen it coming.

"I knew it was going to happen."

Paolo Rubolo somehow knew that the tree in the lot next to his was about to fall onto his house in northwest Atlanta.

Just before Noon, Friday, while he was at work, it did.

"And with the soil being so wet, of course it's going to happen," Rubolo said, standing in front of his heavily damaged home, waiting for crews to arrive to begin cutting away the tree.

Rubolo said that for months the tree had been leaning -- slowly leaning over at an increasingly frightening angle -- obviously stressed.

And he said he did everything he could all of that time to convince the owner of the property to take down the tree.

The owner, he said, is the City of Atlanta.

His latest call to the city was on Friday morning, less than three hours before his foreboding came true.

"I called the lady and left a voice mail saying that I wanted to have an update of what was going on with the tree."

He said that as of Friday night, he still had not heard back.

And as of late Friday, 11Alive News had not heard back from anyone with the city for a response.

There's more.

There's another tree, a giant, dead hardwood, standing right next to where the tree that just fell had been standing.

"That one is going to fall, as well," Rubolo predicted.

Rubolo moved into the house, off of Bolton Road, in December. Soon after, he said, he saw the tree begin to lean.

He said the tree was on a 20-foot wide strip of city-owned land between his house and his next-door neighbor's house.

The city, he said, had originally planned to build a street between the houses, in order to connect his street with the street behind his house.

Rubolo is insured, and incredulous -- forced out of his dream house for reasons out of his control.

"I mean, we put so much effort in it, and it's not nice to see your house destroyed like that. Especially for something that could have been prevented."

Follow Jon Shirek on Twitter: @JonShirek

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