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FAIR OAKS, Calif. (KTXL) — The bomb cyclone that dumped rainfall over the Sacramento Valley also brought gusty winds that were strong enough to topple large trees.

Although Fair Oaks resident John Sargetis thought he was ready for the weekend’s record-setting storm, nothing could have prepared him for the devastation caused by a giant oak on his property.

“It all came down within a matter of seconds. It sounds like, with the way it’s split here in the middle, it just instantly came down,” Sargetis recalled, pointing to the split tree. “Both of our cars are smashed up here and my son’s car over here.”

The sturdy beech tree that sat on his front lawn for decades became a pile of trunks, branches and tangled roots. 

“When you have a big tree like this at your house or any kind of big tree around your house, what can you do? You can’t sit there and stand there and watch it all day, but just be careful. If this one came down here, as big and solid as this is, and this being probably 100-plus years, if this came down then any tree can probably come down,” Sargetis warned.

When the tree came crashing down in the early Monday hours, it fell on all three cars in the family driveway.

If the tree fell just five minutes later, Sargetis said his son might have been in danger. 

“Thankful, most importantly, that my son wasn’t walking up this pathway here when that tree came down,” Sargetis said. “Everything else is fixable, so I’m thankful for him not being there because this thing probably just came down in seconds and I don’t want to even think about what could have possibly happened here.”

As the family assesses the damage, Sargetis said he was also counting his blessings and was reminded that materials can be replaced but lives cannot. 

“We’re going to be OK,” he said.

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