Juana Cardenas said she thought it was a loud thunder clap. But, when she looked down the hallway of her mobile home she saw a tree trunk where her bath and bedroom used to be.
The large cottonwood that grew behind her home in a trailer park on Faustin Lane in El Prado was felled likely by high winds Wednesday afternoon (April 17), according to Taos County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Vargas, who was on the scene with members of the Taos Volunteer Fire Department and gas company personnel.
Wind gusts in Taos reached 35 miles per hour Wednesday with sustained winds of 25 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
Cardenas said she had been living in the park for about 12 years, the previous 10 of which were in a home next door. “That tree used to bend toward my house … and I was like so happy because I had a bigger yard and the tree can fall that way [opposite to her house]. I always used to have dreams of running towards the front door and the tree is crushing and I could just barely make it out.”
Now, in her second year next door, “It just followed me,” she said through tears. “I don’t know what it is. I knew eventually it was going to fall. I just didn’t know it was going to be today.”
Cardenas said she and her son were in the kitchen in the center part of the house. She had just been in the bathroom taking a shower. “I was just in there five seconds before. If I had been in there I would have been crushed.”
Now, Cardenas said her biggest worry is finding a way to have the tree removed and patching the big hole it left as the clouds continued to gather in the skies above. Possible rain was forecast later in the day.