EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma senior is in need of help as a neighbor’s tree continues to wreak havoc on her property.
When the Oklahoma wind comes sweeping down the plain and whips through El Reno, Betty McGoffin fears for her house.
She’s lived in the same home for nearly 30 years – but as of late, a neighbor’s tree has towered too close to home.
“I don’t know,” Betty said. “I can’t tell you the last time it’s been trimmed.”
A pecan tree next door has grown well over the property line, and knocked out Betty’s power one windy day last month.
“I came home and the line was down, and the tree lines were all over it,” said Betty. “I had no electricity. I had no warmth, no nothing in my house.”
She was without power for some time, lost all the food in her fridge, and feared for her deep freezer in the garage.
What’s more, it was the second time in two years the tree had taken out Betty’s power.
The senior, who’s on a fixed income, has had to lean on family both times for repairs.
She says she won’t have the means to do it again.
“No, not at all. Not at all,” Betty added. “I can’t afford to pay for a tree trimmer either. I can’t do it.”
The tree resides in the backyard of a rent home next door. Betty is calling on the property owner for help.
But she says those calls have fallen on deaf ears, despite multiple attempts.
“I feel like the landlord should do it. This is his tree,” Betty said. “I’ve called the guy numerous times.”
The landlord’s name is Larry Helms. News 4 attempted to reach him in a myriad of ways, but our requests for comment were not returned.
So who’s responsible when a tree trespasses onto your property?
Insurance adjusters say, if anyone intends to claim these incidents on their home insurance policy, it’s the property owner with damage who should file, not who owns the tree.
“The reasons why you want to do that is because you would get better treatment by your own insurance company than you would another person’s insurance company,” said Alice Young, an adjuster with Brown O’Haver.
But Betty has no insurance, and says she’s unsure what she’ll do if those branches come crashing down again.