Five-ton tree crashes through Alpharetta councilman’s home

A tree falling into Alpharetta Councilman Dan Merkel’s home Saturday gave a whole new meaning to crashing the party.

A celebration for a high school graduation went past midnight, but the party stopped when the tree’s branches speared through the side of the house.

"It's going to be a long summer, I'm told," Merkel said to Channel 2 Action News. "Lot of repairs, lot of repairs, lot of redoing the roof."

Merkel had turned in for the night, but 11 people were still in his kitchen as the party wound down. His wife woke him up around 1 a.m. and said that a tree had hit the house.

“I didn’t move too quick, and then she came back and said it was in the house,” Merkel told Channel 2. “Just a bug gust of wind at one time caught the tree the right way at the right conditions and snapped it off at the base.”

Merkel is an insurance broker who has served on the city council since 2015.

It is estimated that the tree weighs about five tons. Rain in the days following the tree fall made cleanup a little messier and crews were still working on Wednesday to cut up the tree and get it off his roof.

No one was injured when the tree fell.

“It’s stuff at the end of the day,” Merkel said. “Everybody is safe and that’s what matters.”

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