Rensselaer home to be demolished, storm cleanup continues - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Rensselaer home to be demolished, storm cleanup continues


RENSSELAER, N.Y. -- Demolition is underway on 6th street in Rensselaer after intense storms swept through the area Monday night.

Tuesday night, an excavator took down the second story window of the room where an 80 –year-old woman was standing, when a tree crashed into the center of the house.

"It's a shame to see her lose her house, but nobody was hurt, that's the main thing," says Walter Bishop.

Bishop has lived three doors down from the house for 73 years. He says it had been in the family for 100 years and Monday's storm was the final straw.

"We sat on the front porch and it rained like hell," says Bishop.  "You couldn't see anything outside and that was it."

The woman inside was remarkably not hurt, her dog Molly staying with a neighbor right now.

"I don't know how she got out of there," says Dean Gates.  "The tree just looked like it was covering the whole front of the house.  She was upstairs and how she got out, I have no idea."

The woman is now staying with her family, the house a total loss. 

"The ground is wet, the tree was old, and it came up out of the ground with the wind," says Bishop.

The storm lasted about a half-hour on Monday, but the strong winds, rain and lightning strikes packed quite a punch; Trees snapped off like twigs and uprooted from the ground. Neighbors are now working to clean up, helping one another out where they can to get their street back in order.

The city is making final arrangements for when the home will be taken down.

On 9th Street, Jose Figuroa watched as crews finally cut down the tree that used to stand right in front of his house.

Figuroa said he asked the town for the last three years to cut down the dead tree, but the work was never done. When he came home Monday, he found the tree toppled over on his house.

"Now I have water damage, and a messed up roof, and I have to pay $1,000," he said.

Crews are working around the clock to remove a tree from a 6th Street home, one worker dangling from a crane while using a chain saw to cut away at the limbs and just moments later the chimney was taken down.

The city of Rensselaer will pay for the tree removal, but not the major damage that may not be repairable.

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