By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Tom and Traci Lacock were awake at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when they heard what they thought was a loud gust of wind at their home in Cheyenne.
Almost immediately after, they received a call from their next door neighbor, letting them know that what they heard wasn’t a gust of wind; a 60-foot pine tree in the Lacocks’ yard had fallen onto their home and their neighbors’.
“We just moved into this house about four weeks ago,” Tom Lacock told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “Everyone was safe in each house. There is damage to their roof, and the front of our yard has some damage, such as the fence and the front of the house took some cosmetic damage, but this falls under the category of ‘could have been worse.'”
Unsurprisingly, the Lacocks said they feel terrible about the damage to their neighbors’ home.
The three hours between the time the tree fell on the homes and when the Lacocks could actually see the damage, and the tree, in the daylight was an agonizing time.
“We spent the first couple hours of the morning with the neighbors and flashlights trying to figure out what happened. When the sun finally rose, it was pretty sobering to see the damage,” Lacock said.
Despite the damage, Lacock said the neighbors were great.
“You learn a lot about your neighbors when your tree drops on their house at 4 am. We learned we have awesome neighbors who didn’t deserve a tree dropping on their place,” he said. “They were as gracious as could be.”
Lacock gave a particular shout-out to EnvisiaCare Lawn Services, a Cheyenne-based company that provides full tree care. The Lacocks called the company when its offices opened early Tuesday and a crew was at the family’s home to begin removing the tree an hour later.
“Had the tree gone by noon and we were able to watch the bowl game,” Lacock said.
Interestingly, the tree was “very healthy,” with not a single dead branch. According to Lacock, the roots just snapped during the wind gusts that shook Cheyenne early Tuesday.
The city was under a high wind warning all day Tuesday, and gusts reached up to 79 mph in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.
The Lacocks will have to get rid of the tree’s stump, but intend to plant some aspen flowers in the spot where the tree once stood.
“We moved back to Cheyenne nine years ago today,” Lacock said. “We had friends help with transporting kids to appointments. We had another friend come over from work and start raking. At lunch, Traci sort of took it all in and said, ‘We live in a good city with terrific people.’ I couldn’t agree more.”