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Tree falls on Cleveland home, homeowner blames city after calling with concerns a month earlier

ODOT offers to remove tree for free
tree fall
Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:00:50-04

CLEVELAND — After Wednesday’s storm damage throughout Northeast Ohio, Nichole Martovitz’s frustration bubbled over after she found a tree that had fallen on the roof of her Cleveland home.

The tree is rooted between the sidewalk and East 59th Street in front of her home.

The source of her frustration stems not from the storm, but from the fact she told News 5 she called the ity of Cleveland a month ago expressing concern over the tree which had begun to lean.

“This is horrible,” she said. “I have no way of knowing how much damage there is so far, but I can see my brand new gutters we put up a few months ago are already destroyed and the siding has been completely displaced and you can see the tree coming through the roof and into the tenant's living room. This was completely preventable.”

To complicate her situation, crews for the Opportunity Corridor recently began work outside her home, ripping up the road in front of her home and exposing many of the roots of that tree.

Opportunity Corridor 2
Homepage for Opportunity Corridor, which includes Nichole Martovitz's house located at the top of the main photo.

“They really made a bad situation worse,” she added.

The Opportunity Corridor is a project that will run from East 55th Street at Interstate 490 to East 105th Street in University Circle and is managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the Opportunity Corridor Partnership Office.

News 5 investigated the incident, trying to figure out who is responsible for the tree: the homeowner, the City of Cleveland, or any of the stakeholders involved in the Opportunity Corridor.

Map of opporunity corridor
A map of the Opportunity Corridor highlights how close Francis Avenue gets to Martovitz's home on Bower Avenue.

Shortly thereafter, a spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Transportation reached out to News 5 to offer to remove the fallen tree from Martovitz’s home for free and work with her on any claim involving damage to her home.

“I’m just happy they’re getting to the bottom of it and everything gets back repaired the way it was and myself and my tenants and my son and mother are not put out,” Martovitz said. “I'm going to be happy if they step up and fix everything 110%.”

News 5 did reach out to the City of Cleveland about the original call to take down the tree. A spokesperson with the City of Cleveland acknowledged our request but has not offered a response as of Thursday afternoon.

This stretch of the Opportunity Corridor is slated to wrap up construction this fall.