Could some of the damage from Friday’s storm have been prevented?

Last Friday’s thunderstorm caused four big trees in Burleith to fall, crushing the cars parked near them. Now some neighbors are suggesting that some of the damage could have been prevented if the D.C. government had been more responsive to complaints.

On the Burleith neighborhood listserv, Martha Ann Clark, who lives on T Street between 36th and 37th said she had alerted the Urban Forestry Administration that several trees on her block—including the one pictured above that ended up crushing a car on Friday—might fall because of termite damage.

In her email, Clark included a time line of her interactions with the D.C. government about the problem, dating back to the beginning of the April.  In early June she wrote to a Brian LeCouteur, a Senior Environmental Planner with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments:

I inspected other trees and found at least five where termite invasion had begun and reported this back to the powers that be. So far no one has inquired about those additional trees.

Is there anything at all you can do to hurry this along before a storm knocks over the tree and/or a limb injures someone? Because if injury does occur or tree does damage my house by falling on it during a thunder storm I am holding the City responsible with all the notice they have received on this matter.

Officials at the UFA and MWCOG have not responded to requests for comment, but we’ll update you if they do.

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