'Weird' day in Pittsfield includes toppled tree from Sandy


PITTSFIELD -- Bruce Smith felt something was "off" as he left for work on Monday morning.

"The whole day just seemed weird," he said Monday night. "I just knew something was going to happen today."

Smith's premonition might not have been so thought-provoking since Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the East Coast, threatening to knock out power to millions and cause damage projected in the billions.

But as Bruce, 62, and his wife, Sharon, sat in the living room of their Chapel Street home, watching their favorite show, "Pawn Stars," his feeling turned into reality.

Outside, the wind gusts, clocked at about 50 mph, had taken their toll on a nearly 80-foot-tall tree outside of their home.

Instead of the tree splitting, cracking or breaking off, though, its 6-foot-wide root system was lifted out of the ground, causing the tree to topple and come to rest against the front of the house.

"It sounded like someone set a big hammer on a table," Bruce Smith said.

He ran to the front door to see what happened, but he already knew what it was since he had sensed it in the morning.

Sharon said they had seen the tops of the trees in front of their house swaying heavily.

"Thank God for insurance," Bruce said. "We had bought water, extra food and supplies in case this storm was really bad, but you can't really plan for something like this."

Firefighters were on scene a few minutes after the tree fell, making sure everyone was safe. They stayed until a tree-cutting service arrived.

The damage to the home wasn't known, but officials said Bruce and Sharon would be able to stay there.


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