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ONLY ON 3: Residents ask for fallen tree removal, WHA tears down basketball goal

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- What would you do if a tree limb fell on your roof, and blocked the front door of your house? Residents of Wilmington's Vesta Village community tried to get help with the clean-up, but they claim the Wilmington Housing Authority did more harm than good.

Residents say they may not have much, but they take pride in what they do have, especially their homes.

After a June 8 thunderstorm dropped a limb on a home, many residents called the WHA to come clean it up.

A resident who asked that we not put her on camera for fear of retaliation described the scene.

"Emergency maintenance came out and broke a limb for me to walk out of my front door," she said. "When they broke it off they told me they would be back, because they had to get a contractor to do it, and I'm still waiting on the contractor to come."

For close to two weeks, residents have been forced to walk around and even climb through the tree while trying to get in and out of their home. After contacting the Wilmington Housing Authority to try and get the situation cleaned up, they were shocked at the Housing Authority's response.

"Housing came out here, and instead of cleaning up the tree, they busted down the basketball goal," neighbor Terry Faulk said.

Since there are no swing sets or other play places inside of Vesta Village, residents pooled their money to purchase a basketball goal for the kids. That investment in the community was shattered when residents claim WHA workers sheered the bolts on the goal sending it crashing to the ground and shattering the backboard and the spirit on looking kids.

"It's breaking the kids' spirit," Faulk said. "Look at all of the kids that are standing around. This is what they love doing and how they get along. Here we are trying to stop crime and everything and you come and take the one thing that the kids have to play with, the basketball goal, and instead of removing the tree that's a hazard to the whole community."

A spokesman for the Wilmington Housing Authority says that the basketball goal was taken down because it opened the organization up to a liability lawsuit.

He said contractors will remove the fallen tree tomorrow.

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