THE owner of a house that missed being crushed by a 60ft chestnut tree during the worst of last week’s storms has described the moment the tree fell.
Diane Grist, whose garage, shed and Mini were crushed under the tree, which fell from The Firs estate onto their house, in Derby Road on Wednesday at around 7.30pm, said he didn’t hear the tree collapse as much as feel it.
Mrs Grist, a public sector manager, was in her house when the wind took the tree down and her husband Mark was out walking the dog.
She said: “I’d come home early because of the storm and had got in, made the tea. Mark had gone out to walk the dog and I’d told him to be careful because of falling tiles.
“All of a sudden I just felt a sudden vibration. There wasn’t even a noise, it was just like a tremor.
“I knew something had happened but I didn’t at first know what.
“So I went upstairs to look out of the window and that’s when I saw there was a tree in the garden.”
“I couldn’t get into the back garden because the tree was in the way so I went around the path to the back of the house and then I saw the damage to the car and the garage.”
The tree had smashed through a concrete garage, completely crushing it and branches had bashed a shed on the way down.
Mrs Grist’s six-year-old Mini was badly damaged by branches on the tree with the roof, bonnet, wings and doors dented and the windscreen smashed.
She said: “I just felt really shocked. Really, in some ways, we’re very lucky because it only hit the edge of the house and none of us were hurt but it did leave me feeling very shocked.”
Mrs Grist had parked her car around 3ft further from the garage than she would normally have done because of the storms and because the chestnut trees, one of two at the rear of their property, on land owned by Dales Housing, had lost branches in high winds previously.
Had the Mini been parked in its usual spot, closer to the garage, it would have been completely crushed.
Contractors have now cut back the remaining tree to prevent it falling and Mr and Mrs Grist are currently waiting for loss adjusters to assess the damage before the clear up can properly begin.
During the worst of last week’s storms, winds in parts of Derbyshire reached more than 60mph.
However the west of the country was the worst hit area and, on high ground in Wales a wind-speed of 108mph was recorded - the highest of the winter so far.