ETX neighborhood fears trees falling on homes - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX neighborhood fears trees falling on homes

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas family is living in fear of the dead trees behind their property.

Kristi Ebey lives in Smith County, off of highway 69. Her house backs up to a large section of trees and many of them are dead. 

"I hate to think that we are sitting ducks, but that's kind of what I feel like," Ebey says, "For all I know, the next time this happens I could lose a kid, I could lose my husband or myself, you know?"

The last tree that fell on the family's property destroyed their storage shed and barely missed their daughters' trampoline. 

"We're just afraid that the next time one comes down, we're not going to be so lucky," says Ebey. 

If the dead tree just to the left of their backyard falls, it could take out their fence, swing set and might land in Ebey's bedroom. She doesn't want to wait for that to happen, so she called her insurance company. 

"He let me know that, because we had never notified the land owners that there were dead trees they needed to clean up, this one was on us," says Ebey.

She understood and took the next step with her neighbor to find the tree's property owner. 

"Debbie sent a certified letter to the land owners. It was never picked up, they couldn't deliver it to the address so it was sent back to her," says Ebey.

The land is owned by a company in McGregor, Texas. Ebey has not been able to reach them by mail or phone.  

"I then contacted the county commissioner to see if there were any laws or anything that  we just weren't aware of. He informed me that, since we're in the county and not in the city, there's no code enforcement or anything. Unfortunately there's no way we can make them cut the trees down," Ebey says.

That's not the answer Ebey was looking for as she tries to keep her family safe.

 The company that owns the land behind Ebey's house is Sabera Inc. They did not return our calls. 

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