Tree smashes into American Legion building in Midlothian

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MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — A tree fell into the American Legion Post 186 building in Midlothian. No one was inside the building when the tree fell at about 6 a.m. Friday. Post members said the tree landed in a spot where an 80-year-old member usually sat. The man, who arrives at the post before sunrise most mornings, was not there today.

Contractors are working to repair the damage done by the tree.

Tree experts warned heavy rain Thursday and Friday could saturate soil making it likely that trees would topple.

“Essentially the problem is the ground is so wet over the last several days the conditions are right for winds to start bringing stuff over,” Arborist Clay Johns explained. “Pine comes out of the ground very easy. They have a very shallow root system. So if you’ve got pines, you’re more apt to see trees coming out of the ground.”

John said homeowners can prepare by checking their trees by looking for heaving soil and a raised a lump that could indicate the tree is in jeopardy. Mushrooms are also a dead giveaway. If you see those Johns said your tree is decaying and that is a major red flag.

If you do experience downed trees on power lines, officials said you should contact Dominion Virginia Power right away. You can call 866-DOM-HELP to report that.