‘So scary’: Mum-to-be’s terror as huge tree smashes house
A heavily pregnant woman and her husband had to hide in the bedroom of a Palmwoods home after a 120-year-old tree crashed down onto their roof during a wild hailstorm.
The pair were trapped inside the home with the front door blocked by debris.
Homeowner Jeff Twist said the tenants escaped without injury but if the tree had fallen two metres north it could have ended far worse.
The tallowwood tree came down around 6pm as the Sunshine Coast was thrashed by a swift and wild hailstorm.
"She (the tenant) was sitting in the lounge room with her husband opposite the sunroom when it came down and smashed it and the windows," Mr Twist said.
"Most of the debris went through the house and hit the solid glass window near where she was sitting.
"She was OK - but the whole thing is awful.
"It would have been so scary just sitting down and next thing you hear this big bang."
The husband, who requested not to be named, said he placed his wife in a cupboard in the bedroom while they waited for emergency services to arrive.
"We could hear the roof crashing in … we were inside the home for about an hour because we couldn't open the front door," he said.
"It's pretty heavy, especially considering they've been complaining about this tree."
Mr Twist and wife Hayley bought the three-bedroom 1 Holly Green Cres home a few years ago.
He said the previous owners had multiple discussions with council about having the large, heritage listed tree removed for safety reasons.
"The tree has a plaque at the bottom of it because it was more than 120 years old," he said.
"But that means nothing when from a safety perspective if it was on my place I'd knock it down.
"I think there would be a lot of trees on the Coast next to houses on council land, especially those gum trees, that are unsafe."
Mr Twist - who with his brothers Rick and David run Twist Brothers Turf at Chevallum - said they recently spent about $70,000 on home renovations.
"To see the house last night, it hurts," he said.
"We'd done the house up with a new kitchen and everything.
"The tenants had the house set up all nice too, one of the bedrooms was ready to go and set up for their baby."
Holly Green Crescent resident Virginia Hamilton saw the damage while walking her dog on Thursday morning.
"I was talking to the neighbours who live next door to the house and they heard it and they just said it was a noise like no other," Ms Hamilton said.
"It just came down so hard, the fence is flattened."
Ms Hamilton said the damage caused across the Coast was a reminder for residents to be prepared when storm warnings were issued.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman provided the following statement, in response to questions about the incident:
"Council is sorry to hear about the damage; our thoughts are with the property owners; and we are currently investigating this incident as a matter of urgency."