Gulfport Woman Wants Tree Hazard Removed

The remnants of Tropical Storm Allison blew through the coast four weeks ago. But a reminder of the storm is still causing some restless nights for one Gulfport woman.

The storm toppled a large oak tree behind Ruby Madison's apartment building. It's leaning on two smaller trees that are keeping it from coming completely down.

Her landlord cut a few limbs but a large section of tree is still hanging over her home.

The tree trunk is right over Ruby Madison's bedroom. She was at work when Tropical Storm Allison did the initial damage. But she worries another storm or strong wind could send a large section of oak crashing through her roof.

"My concern is my safety, if I'm here. If I'm not here, I'm still in trouble if it falls on the house, you know."

Madison says her landlord had some work done on the tree two weeks after the storm. A ladder and some rope remain among the tree limbs. Large branches taken down are still in the yard.

"I called him several times. And finally they came out 17 days later to let somebody go up there and cut to where you see it is now. But they haven't been back," said Madison.

City tree advisor Brian Capo took a close up look at the toppled tree. He's convinced it does pose a hazard.

"Yes. If you have a large, several thousand pound object hanging over your head, yeah," said Capo.

It may be a hazard but Capo says there's a question about whether the city can take any action.

"I don't know that the city has a pathway for forcing property owners to remove liabilities."

We tried to hear the landlord's side of the story, but he apparently doesn't feel like talking. In a very brief phone conversation, he told me it's none of my business, and then hung up.

Ruby Madison wants the landlord to take her complaint seriously.

"One occasion I was talking to him and he told me if I hear anything coming down, just duck."