Strong winds snap tree into Syracuse house

Aug 15 2011 - 11:40pm

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NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Large tree limbs from a willow tree punctured the front part of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse late Sunday night.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Deanna Cook (left) talks with her neighbor Maria Thorpe about the fallen willow tree that lays toppled over in Cook's front yard in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Large tree limbs from a willow tree punctured the front part of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse late Sunday night.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Deanna Cook (left) talks with her neighbor Maria Thorpe about the fallen willow tree that lays toppled over in Cook's front yard in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
A large willow tree lays toppled over in the front yard of Deanna Cook’s home in Syracuse on Monday.

SYRACUSE -- Deanna Cook is devastated by the loss of a 100-year-old weeping willow.

But she is grateful the tree that crashed onto the roof and into the front of her home at 11:30 p.m. Sunday did not harm her husband of 43 years.

Glen Cook, who has multiple sclerosis and heart problems, is bedridden and slept in the room where a branch about a 12-inches in diameter busted through the aluminum siding outside, through the bottom of the wall and through the wood paneling inside. It knocked out power to the room.

"The wind woke me up and then there was a loud 'boom,' which shook the whole house," Deanna Cook said.

She called her son-in-law who helped her move Glen Cook and his bed into another room.

Deanna Cook went outside and saw the tree. Branches covered the ground, laid tangled on the roof and brought down electrical lines that came from the road into the house.

The tree split in half about 20 feet up from the ground, sending one section into the house.

"It's like losing an old friend," she said of the tree.

Her first thought was the tree had been struck by lightening. But the more she looked at it and neighboring trees also uprooted, she thinks a micro burst may have hit the area along 2700 South in Syracuse.

"There are no signs of burning, just rotted wood," Deanna Cook said as she looked up into the branches that once shaded the home where her husband grew up.

About 18 years ago, Deanna and Glen Cook moved into the home that was built in the early 1900s or late 1800s. Glen Cook's parents moved into the home in either 1932 or 1934, Deanna Cook said.

Glen Cook said he and his three siblings grew up in the house and the willow tree has always been part of family memories.

"The tree has always been here," Deanna Cook said. "The grandkids loved to swing from it."

The tree stood between 50 feet and 60 feet tall and the base of its trunk was about 10 feet to 12 feet wide. Deanna Cook said it was possibly the tallest and oldest tree in Syracuse.

"I'm going to miss its shade," Deanna Cook said.

Deanna Cook had a tree service company out on Monday to inspect the tree and give an estimate. She said the entire tree has to go because it has rotted in the middle and cannot be saved.

Friends, neighbors and family came by all morning Monday to see what they could do to help.

"I don't even know where to begin," Deanna Cook said. "I think I'm in shock."

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