Mathew Torgerson had no idea that a disaster was about to be averted when he got in his SUV and drove away last Monday morning.
When he returned home a mere 10 minutes later he discovered the huge maple tree in his front yard, its branches weighed down with heavy, wet snow, had crashed to the ground.
As he looked at the fallen tree, he was shocked to realize his car would have been crushed under the impact if it hadn’t been moved.
His wife Janine said it truly was a matter of timing.
“We were going to take the baby for a walk, but our baby was cranky, so we didn’t go. He took the SUV instead and he wasn’t even gone 10 minutes.”
In the space of that time, the tree succumbed to the huge weight of snow and fell over, towards the street.
“You could see the outline of where the SUV had been in the snow,” she said.
The fallen tree and another tree which could have been a potential danger have now been removed from the couple’s yard.
Janine is sorry to see the trees go, though she realizes it is for the best.
“My older daughter Alexis was climbing that tree this summer.”
The Torgerson’s tree was only one of several trees that crashed in Rimbey last Monday due to the weight of the heavy, wet snow.
Public works foreman Rick Schmidt said several calls were made to public works by concerned citizens about broken branches and fallen trees.
“There were a dozen or so trees that fell,” he said. “We had call after call.”
Schmidt explained public works is required to look after trees on town property such as streets, parks and alleys, but property owners are responsible for their own trees.
“Property owners need to regularly maintain and trim their trees to help prevent them from becoming a serious hazard,” he said.
Public works crews were kept busy Monday cleaning up broken branches throughout town.
Schmidt has also booked a tree trimmer to deal with any trees on town property that need to be pruned.