Strong Storm Topples Tree

The tree is blocking a portion of the sidewalk along Winter Walk Drive in QOP.

(UPDATED 5/31)
A strong storm on the evening of May 27 uprooted a tree sending it toppling onto a parked car along Winter Walk Drive in Quince Orchard Park (QOP).

“I was outside when it happened, I had stepped out to move my planters closer to the house so they wouldn’t fly away and I heard this very loud crack and ran inside,” said Winter Walk Drive resident Suzanne Scharf who lives across the street from the toppled tree. “[It was] quite a storm.”

A car parked one space away from the downed tree was not damaged but another Winter Walk Drive resident said the evergreen tree originally landed on top of the car. The resident said the car was moved out from under the tree shortly after it happened and she said said she felt fortunate there was no visible damage to her vehicle and that no one was injured.

The tree remained blocking the sidewalk and a portion of Winter Walk Drive over the Memorial Day weekend causing passersby to wonder who is responsible for clearing it away.

Wally DeBord, Gaithersburg’s Public Works Operations Director, said the owner of the property is generally responsible for removing a downed tree. He said the city’s code inspectors would contact the property owner to ensure it was removed in a timely fashion.

Winds from a strong thunderstorm uprooted the tree on May 27.

The tree is one of several planted on the Vistas property over ten years ago during construction of QOP to shield the developer’s construction trailers from the residential community.

The Friday night storm caused some other tree damage throughout the Gaithersburg area including at least one downed tree in Lakelands. Broken tree limbs also were seen scattered along the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) fence line in QOP.