Homeowners request assistance in tree removal
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida family argued they should not be responsible for removing the large tree that toppled over their home and two of their vehicles Saturday, blanketing their property in a tangle of branches that has caused a rift between the homeowners and county officials.
Limb by limb, the Hernandez family removed part of the uprooted tree that fell on their Northwest Miami-Dade residence, located on 20009 NW 62nd Ave., and buried their truck and sport utility vehicle under the branches after stormy weather hit their neighborhood.
"The two cars were under the tree; they're damaged," said homeowner Thais Hernandez. "This one that is still under the tree is really damaged," she added as she pointed at the dark gray Dodge Ram stuck under the debris.
"What you see over there and to the side, they tried to cut it because most of the [tree's] weight is on the truck," said Hernandez.
The family was planning to drive down to the Florida Keys on Sunday. Instead, they spent the day getting their SUV out from under the tree because, according to Hernandez, the county informed her that it would be unable to assist them. "It wasn't our fault; it's not our tree," she said. "[We] didn't plant that tree in there, so that's why we called the county. We want to know if they could help us, but they said no."
Hernandez said the tree has been a problem for their family for a long time. "This tree is really, really old; we have called in the past because, at night, when we back up with the cars, we don't see the cars [on the street] coming, so it's really dangerous," she said. "So we have called in the past to see if they can trim it, to see if they can cut it."
Miami-Dade Public Works officials said the residents are responsible for removing the tree that fell onto their property, even though it was originally on county property. Once the homeowners remove the tree, they continued, the department will pick up the debris if it is left on the street.
"I lost trust with them," said Hernandez. "I don't know, I just feel alone. I feel like no one is coming to help me."
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