“I’m a tree hugger” smiles Margaret Lichtenegger as she embraces the large spruce that dropped onto her garage in the 300 block of 7th Street SE in Salmon Arm during the high winds overnight on March 4, 2020. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

“I’m a tree hugger” smiles Margaret Lichtenegger as she embraces the large spruce that dropped onto her garage in the 300 block of 7th Street SE in Salmon Arm during the high winds overnight on March 4, 2020. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Gale force winds down trees on Salmon Arm homes

One resident grateful only her garage sustained damage

Although a tree landed on Margaret Lichtenegger’s house during the wild winds overnight March 4, the giant intruder hasn’t squashed her spirits.

Lichtenegger said she and her daughter Reta had a laugh in the morning over what the birds must be thinking about the re-positioning of the large spruce.

“The chickadees and the nuthatches, they only have a foot to go now. They’ve been up in the branches this morning flying over to the feeder. They’re really happy,” she said, laughing heartily. “Lunch is close now.”

She has, however, been worrying about the crows which nest in the tree. She’s hoping they haven’t had their babies yet.

Lichtenegger was in bed, sleeping lightly because of the high winds, when she heard what she describes as a “big thud” about 12:30 Wednesday morning.

“It wasn’t a huge noise; I was quite surprised. I knew it was the tree. I had been worrying about the tree, because it was standing by itself. I think that’s always a danger if there’s just one big tree.”

She said the house didn’t shake and she was actually more worried about the second tree on the neighbour’s lot, a Ponderosa pine standing alone. She has been told, however, that the roots of spruce trees can be shallow, making them less stable.

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Fortunately – if you can call a tree on the roof “fortunate” – the tree landed on the garage. About three branches are poking through the roof, but not through the ceiling, she said.

She thinks the tree might have to be lifted off by a crane, due to its positioning.

The house was built specifically for her three years ago, so she’s hopeful the damages aren’t too serious.

“It’s my baby.”

One highlight of the night was the thoughtfulness of neighbours. Lichtenegger says one neighbour called police to make sure she was all right.

“He came about one o’clock and made sure everything was OK. I thought it was really nice.”

Lichtenegger lives in the 300 block of 7th Street SE. Not far from her, in the 800 block of 1st Avenue SE, a tree lies across the roof of another home.

Environment Canada reported that winds reached between 20 and 50 kilometres per hour until they peaked at 1:30 Wednesday morning at 84 km/h.



marthawickett@saobserver.net

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A large spruce fell on the garage roof of Margaret Lichtenegger’s home in the 300 block of 7th Street SE in Salmon Arm during the high winds overnight on March 4. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A large spruce fell on the garage roof of Margaret Lichtenegger’s home in the 300 block of 7th Street SE in Salmon Arm during the high winds overnight on March 4. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A tree fell overnight on March 4 on a home in the 800 block of First Avenue SE during high winds that caused damage throughout Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A tree fell overnight on March 4 on a home in the 800 block of First Avenue SE during high winds that caused damage throughout Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A tree fell overnight on March 4 on a home in the 800 block of First Avenue SE during high winds that caused damage throughout Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A tree fell overnight on March 4 on a home in the 800 block of First Avenue SE during high winds that caused damage throughout Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)