Overnight storms uproot trees in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood leaving damage to homes, cars

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jul 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-16 21:04:59-04
MILWAUKEE -- Thunderstorms and strong winds rattled the Riverwest neighborhood early Sunday morning in Milwaukee.
Not only were cars crushed, but three trees uprooted and fell on to three homes in the 2900 block of Pierce.  
“Unbelievable, [it's] unbelievable," Linda Catena said. 
According to Catena, she slept through it all. She said it was her neighbor who called to wake her up to the sight of a tree on top of her home. 
"We were sleeping," Catena said. "We didn’t hear a thing."
Catena said she has a pretty good idea why and how the strong winds uprooted the trees. 
“It’s the city," Catena said. "They redid this street last year, and when they redid the street last year, they cut all the roots of all these trees."
The supposed weakened structure of the trees has prompted a neighborhood full of concern. Tom Rawlings lives next door to Catena and fears if another storm hits, his home could be next. 
“It was kind of terrifying because we have a tree here," Rawlings said. "I’d say it’s maybe like 50 feet tall and our bedroom is right up there."
Fortunately, Rawlings and his home were spared, but new home owner Katy Benway can’t say the same. She said she and her husband just completed a home project and this event forces them to take on another. 
“We actually just spent the whole weekend putting up a fence in the backyard," Benway said. "So, it’s like wow, another project."
Homeowners with damage to their homes were given paperwork from the city and asked to file a claim. 
No injuries were reported from the tree fall.