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Storms send fallen tree through renter’s roof; for 24+ hours, she was left to clean up herself

WEST ALLIS -- A West Allis woman couldn't avoid the rain on Wednesday, Sept. 5, even inside her home. That's because a fallen tree poked not one, but two holes in her apartment's roof and ceiling. At one point, a property manager told FOX6 over the phone "the tenant is making a big deal out of this."

Miriam Lopez took FOX6 News on a tour of her West Allis rental unit on Wednesday.

"That's a tree stump right there," said Lopez.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lopez said she was home with her dog when storms pushed through.


"That's when I heard a loud noise -- a big, loud noise," said Lopez.

She thinks a lightning strike caused a neighbor's tree to come down on the building. More rain on Wednesday caused even more problems.

"It was dripping more earlier," said Lopez.

Buckets filled with more and more water with each passing hour. In her living room, a huge tree branch split the roof.

"We took everything out of the room," said Lopez.

For more than 24 hours, Lopez was left to clean up the mess herself.

"We shouldn't be still here in this house," said Lopez.

Property managers with Smart Asset Realty told us over the phone a roofer was sent to the property at 1 p.m., but no one showed up until nearly 6 p.m. Wednesday, after FOX6 stopped by. Managers explained there were complications with insurance companies, because the tree is on a neighboring property. They also said there were complications with Lopez, who maintained she notified property managers Tuesday afternoon about the damage and again on Wednesday.

Lopez said someone stopped by and took pictures at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. At 7 p.m., a roofer put a tarp on the roof.

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