VIRGINIA BEACH -- The owner of a local tree service warns homeowners that after days or even hours of heavy rain, it merely takes a good gust of wind to send a rotting tree crashing down.
John Sweeney owns Atlantic Tree Service and said 80 to 90 percent of trees that fall onto homes in bad storms are hollow.
Sweeney and his crews visited a home in Virginia Beach Thursday to remove a rotting and hollow tree three feet from a home.
'There's no doubt about it, this tree will eventually fall somewhere,' said Sweeney.
Crew member Mark Newel also warned that many trees in Hampton Roads are planted on a clay system that doesn't allow the roots of a tree to go deep. If you see roots above ground, those trees are also at risk of uprooting and toppling over.
'Anytime you mix a lot of moisture with a lot of wind, get a shallow based root system and you see the trees topple in high winds,' said Newell.
Sweeney said homeowners and property managers should always inspect the trees on their property, looking for dead branches, limbs or cavities that make the tree susceptible to falling over in bad weather.