When a tree falls, who listens?

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — A Reserve resident has complained about a rotten tree in her front yard for three years. Now after Hurricane Katrina, the tree has fallen onto her house.

Linda Duhe lives on W. Sixth Street in Reserve, but she doesn’t enter her home like most area residents, because there is a huge tree in her yard and on her house blocking part of the entrance.

“I have to climb over this tree to get to my porch,” Duhe said. “I just want the Parish to come and get this tree out of here. I have tried for three years to get the Parish to remove the tree, because it is on the Parish’s right-of-way.”

Duhe said the tree has been rotting for a while, but that around three weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit, a limb fell from it.

“They were supposed to come and take the whole tree,” she said. “But instead they cut the one limb and left the rest. Now, after the storm almost the whole tree has fallen. We heard a bang and a boom and there it was.”

Councilman Allen St. Pierre said he as well has tried numerous times to get someone out to get the tree, especially during the last six weeks.

“I get one excuse after another,” he said. “Instead of being a councilman, I feel like some kind of messenger boy no one listens to. It’s pitiful she has to live like that.”

St. Pierre said one of the excuses he was told was that the tree was not on Parish property, but he said if that was the case, then why did they go out and cut the one limb before?

“Regardless if it’s on Parish property or not it needs to be taken care of,” he said. “The three parish presidents from St. James, St. Charles and St. John went to Baton Rouge and during a meeting they all agreed regardless if trees were on private property or not they would remove the trees off houses and ones that have fallen. I have seen the other parishes do this since that meeting, how come they can do it, but we can’t?”

St. Pierre did, however; recently talk with St. John Public Works and said they would start taking care of the tree on Monday.