JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A woman on Jacksonville’s Northside is desperately searching for answers and financial help after a neighboring tree severely damaged her home Wednesday night.
Eula Copeland has lived in her home just blocks from the Trout River for more than 25 years.
A massive tree, around 90 feet tall, from her neighbor’s yard, fell over and tore through her kitchen, dining room, and back porch. She said her home is unlivable.
“I’m blessed to be alive,” Copeland said.
For Copeland, this is the last thing she expected.
She was sitting at her dining room table, just moments before that tree came crashing down.
“I saw the air conditioner come out first,” Copeland said. I said somebody’s breaking into my house. So as I began to get up and run, I tripped and I fell. I ran out the door. It was raining.”
Eula broke her glasses and has a gash on the side of her face from falling.
She went to the hospital but said she is okay now.
“I was so nervous,” Copeland said. “I was just sitting there shaking.”
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Eula does not have insurance for her now severely damaged home.
At the end of the day, while the damage is extensive and overwhelming, she said she’s grateful to have her life.
“It still could have hit me,” Copeland said. “I would have just been injured by myself, so I’m blessed. I’m very blessed.”
Under Florida law, if a tree is healthy, a landowner is not liable for damage caused if it falls onto a neighboring property.
A tree removal service, that stopped by the home, told Action News Jax this tree could be removed first thing Monday. However, it won’t be cheap.
The American Red Cross assisted Eula financially and will be placing a tarp over her home.
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However, she knows she’s going to need much more help.
Eula has been staying with friends until she can find temporary housing and begin the rebuilding process.
“Right now, I just don’t know what to do,” Copeland said. “I really don’t.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Copeland. Click here to learn more about it.