Menlo Park: Tree top falls, damaging roof, several vehicles | March 7, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - March 7, 2018

Menlo Park: Tree top falls, damaging roof, several vehicles

A 130-foot redwood tree in the 100 block of Baywood Avenue in Menlo Park is now shorter by about 30 feet after the top section of the tree fell during the windy storm on Thursday afternoon, March 1.

The tree parts penetrated the roof of a nearby home and severely damaged several vehicles sitting in the driveway, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries, the chief said. At the time of the incident, around 4:55 p.m., the house was occupied when a large branch entered a second-story bedroom, but the occupants were on the first floor, he said.

The section of the tree that fell had been damaged by a lightning strike last September, the chief said.

Firefighters arrived at 4:58 p.m. and used ladders to reach the barn-style roof, where they cut and removed branches and covered the hole with a tarp and a plywood patch to prevent water damage, according to Mr. Schapelhouman.

Over the weekend, a tree service cleaned up the upper section of what remains of the tree.

During the incident, the fire district used a drone to provide photos and live streaming video, allowing firefighters to inspect damage to the roof, oversee steps taken to secure it and check the status of the damaged tree, the chief said.

"We continue to develop new use cases for our Drone fleet and increase our number of actual practical operations," he said in a statement. "In the past, there would have not been a safe and convenient way to have accessed and inspected this large (tree) to better understand that it actually presented a threat to public safety below."

After the lightning strike, the homeowners had a tree service look at the tree and trim it if necessary, the chief said. Crews from Pacific Gas & Electric Company also examined the tree at the time, looking for risks to the adjacent power line infrastructure, but found no threats.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Short story writers wanted!

The 32nd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 6. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details