Trees blown over in 50 mph wind gusts |

Trees blown over in 50 mph wind gusts

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada AppealCarson City firefighter Jim White escorts Desiree Mefford, Trinity Mefford, 4 months, and Gage Becker, 13, along with the family's dog Roco, from their Hampton Drive home after a 40-foot-tall cottonwood fell onto their home on Wednesday afternoon.

Tempestuous winds toppled two 40-foot-tall cottonwood trees almost onto a Hampton Drive home Wednesday afternoon.

Desiree Mefford said she’d just gotten out of the shower, her 4-month-old daughter Trinity was asleep and her 13-year-old son Gage Becker was watching television about 2:30 p.m., when she heard a noise she said was unmistakable.

“I knew it was the neighbor’s tree,” said Mefford, standing in the kitchen of another neighbor’s home.

Mefford said she dialed 911, her landlords Sue and Don Smith and her husband, a Pickel Meadow Marine. She said she didn’t bother to go outside ” until firefighters were at her back door.

“They said you need to get out now, the other tree is going.”

Gage said his mother panicked.

“She was freaking out,” he giggled.

“Well I didn’t know how much time I had,” she said.

The family ran across the street to Regina Mahaffey’s home.

Hosting her neighbors in her kitchen, Mahaffey said that a half hour before the first cottonwood fell, she had driven past and seen the earth around its roots moving.

“I came in and sat down and then got up to look. I heard the cracking, and there it went down,” she said.

Mahaffey said it’s no mystery as to why the trees came down. She’d seen the homeowners digging up the yard eight months ago and, according to, winds in Carson City clocked in at 50 mph.

Initially fire crews were concerned the Mefford family would not be able to live in the home, but after closer inspection it was discovered that the bulk of the trees missed the structure. Firefighters climbed the roof and cut away the branches. They cleared a pathway to the Mefford’s front door.

Mahaffey said she hoped the people who owned the home where the trees once stood had insurance. They could not be reached for comment.

“We own our trees and if anything happens it’s our responsibility,” she said.

– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.