Tree removal begins at house damaged in storm

A massive crane was required to remove the fallen tree which partially crushed a house in last week’s terrible storm. Photo Karen Cory Toussaint 

The Shelly Park family whose house was partially crushed by a massive tree in last Tuesday’s storm are looking for a temporary home.

It could take around six months to have the house repaired assuming all works well with their insurance company. In the meantime Lorna and Rob and daughter Bronwyn (20), are looking for a rental in Howick after spending time with friends in Remuera.

Meanwhile the 30-35 metre tree which demolished their living room and a good chunk of the rear deck and side of the house was removed by an enormous crane at the weekend.

Due to the steep incline of the long and relatively narrow drive, the crane took up a position on their street, Aries Place.

“The house is uninhabitable,” Lorna told the Times.

“There were three huge chunks of tree (in the house)…the house is virtually buried.”
The tree (Times, April 12) came close to claiming Lorna’s life. She spent a night in Middlemore Hospital after suffering bruising and lacerations. She was in the living room when the tree smashed into the house.

She described the moment the tree came down.

“When the tree hit the house I was hit by something. I feel into a crouch position. When the debris began to fall, it fell around me like an igloo,” she said.

“Once the debris had stopped falling I pushed a hole through the igloo. When I stood up the tree was about two or three feet (60-90cm) from me.

“I was in a pile of rubble. The tree had stopped. If the tree had continued I don’t think I’d be talking to you.”

Meanwhile she is grateful for not just the lucky escape but the help of family, friends and neighbours.

“I’m still recovering from my injuries,” she said.

“We’ve got amazing friends who have come to help our daughter get out small precious things, art work, books and small pieces,” Lorna said.

“Everything in the house is very wet.

“We would like to just thank our neighbours…the neighbourhood is very warm and friendly.”