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Storm winds bring tree down on Southern Hills home, causing interior damage

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Sunday night was not a good night for Tom Webster, a big fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Because of a severe weather delay at Arrowhead Stadium he had to stay up late watching TV, only to see his Chiefs get pounded by the Buffalo Bills 38-20.

Then after going to bed he and his wife Julie got even worse news when a storm blew through Springfield.

“Yeah, tough Chiefs loss last night, and then this morning about 5:15 I heard a giant crash,” Tom said. “I just built some new shelves in the bathroom closet and we thought that was what crashed down on us.”

Instead, it turned out to be an old giant oak tree on the side of their property that fell over from the high winds and crashed through the roof into a bathroom between two bedrooms.

“We were just lucky. Our bedroom’s right there,” Tom said as he stood outside and pointed at a window just a few feet from the fallen tree trunk. “The limbs have gone through the ceiling structure and it’s pretty significant damage. A lot of the weight is bearing down on the house so we’re going to have to get a tree service to put a crane on it so it can hold the tree up. We don’t want it to fall and create even more damage. We don’t know how much structural damage has been done yet but the rafters are busted up. It was a shock to wake up to.”

To make matters worse the Websters had only been living in Southern Hills a few months after moving from Table Rock Lake.

“Quite a Welcoming Wagon,” Tom quipped.

Knowing that the Southern Hills neighborhood is full of towering mature trees, Tom had tried to avoid the potential problem by taking proactive measures.

“We just got rid of two sweet gum trees that had been hurt in the ice storm back in 2007,” Tom said. “This (the one that hit is home) is our neighbor’s tree. They’re super-sweet people and they checked on us this morning but there’s nothing you can do about mother nature.”

While the oak tree’s age probably played a role in its fall, a tree service expert told Tom some previous excavation work may have also contributed.

“You can see where they did the grinding to the roots, grinding that out so they could grow grass around it,” he said.

Considering Tom had hail damage at his previous home before moving to Springfield, he seems to be taking all of his home destruction troubles in stride. But you can’t blame him if he’s looking back over his shoulder to make sure there’s no swarm of locusts coming next.

“Just waiting on the next plague,” he said with a big laugh.

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