Across Shreveport Monday, trees and branches littered the roadways, remnants of the evening's storms. For some residents, though, that rain caused more trouble than it was worth. Tomias Williams says a tree fell on his home early that morning, crashing through his mother's bedroom, where the 64-year-old lay sleeping. Williams says she's on a respirator and was taken to a local hospital for breathing treatments. While Williams and his family escaped serious injury, they weren't the only Ark-La-Tex residents battling the elements. A tree also toppled into a cancer health care center, causing patients to evacuate.
So what's causing these trees to fall? According to Steve Muslow with Muslow Forestry, it's a combination of factors. He says many of these trees are dead or dying after a brutally hot, dry summer. Rain is essential to breathe life back into them, but too much at one time can be a problem. That's because the excess moisture can loosen the gound around the trunk. Muslow says that alone wouldn't cause the tree to topple, but when coupled with strong winds, a drought-stressed tree may not have the strength to stand.
And for the most weakened trees? They may not live to see the one thing they've been waiting for all summer.