Fallen trees causing headaches for Isle of Hope residents - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fallen trees causing headaches for Isle of Hope residents


Falling trees are causing real concerns for homeowners in Chatham County.

Several trees have fallen in the Lakeside community in Isle of Hope. The problem is, the trees have fallen on county property, so who should foot the bill?

For over a year, the county and the residents in the Lakeside community have gone back and forth on who should foot the bill. Several large trees have fallen into a canal, causing damage to the surrounding property.

With the danger of looming storms, homeowners like Dorsey Fordham wants the county to fix the problem before more large trees fall.

Fordham contacted the county commission and the director of the Public Works and Park Services Dept. The county claims the removal, which could cost up to $10,000, is the responsibility of the private property owner, but Dorsey said he has been told it could possibly be state property but no one will claim responsibility.

Now, trash is piling up and the canal is starting to collect storm water runoff from neighboring communities. It's a problem that needs to be fixed before more damage is done.

Chatham County said they are not responsible for clearing any fallen trees, but Fordham said his insurance company is going after the county for thousands of dollars.

Fordham owns rental property that lays five feet from the canal, and he said over the past year, several large trees have fallen, causing damage to the foundation of the home and destroying a parking area and patio.

"Clean up the mess and the trees that have fallen," he said. "The other trees we will worry about those later. Eventually, they will fall too. I have offered right away, both neighbors have offered right away. But if they'd just come and clean up what's in here now, then we'd be good to go."

In the past the county has removed trees, but now the county said the property owners are responsible because removing the trees could cause damage to the foundation of the homes.

Fordham's insurance company is now asking the county to reimburse the $10,000 the company paid to repair the damage done by the fallen trees.

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