Just over a week ago, we had really strong winds and storms. We also had a tree incident.

A huge old Maple tree fell on to our kitchen. My son and myself were sleeping the Wednesday before last and I woke up to what sounded like a Mack truck hitting the house. I jumped out of bed and ran to where the noise sounded like it came from. It was 11:45 pm.

I arrived in the kitchen and turned on the lights and this is what I saw.

My first look at the storm damage to the kitchen

Then I walked around to look up into the hole. Yep, that’s a tree branch my flashlight is shining on (it has a lot of light green moss growing on it.). It’s also a broken truss and insulation hanging all down. I can hear the winds howling around and now blowing down into the house.

Looking up into the hole in my ceiling

Then I ran outside to see the tree. Yikes. That’s a big freakin’ tree incident.

The tree right after it went down on our house.

I had to call my husband to come home from work. Meanwhile, I was collecting buckets, pans, bins and anything I could to catch the rain that was now coming in. It started to rain harder and harder and was coming in at a good rate.

I threw a shower curtain over my computer and as much as my desk as I could and put down a drop cloth to try and catch the rain that was missing the buckets. It was really coming in going everywhere. So I got the ShopVac out and started sucking up the water.

After a bit of doing this, I needed more buckets so I went searching again and discovered it was also leaking in our dining room and living room! Arrrgh! It was too much. I couldn’t keep up.

After what seemed like forever, my husband Daryl got home and he immediately went on the roof to try and get a tarp over the very large hole.

All this time, my kid is still sleeping through the whole thing. I didn’t wake him, I didn’t want him to be scared as it was still really blowing hard out there.

Daryl needed help on the roof, he couldn’t see and needed me to hold a flashlight so he could use the chainsaw to get the giant branches clear so he could lay the tarp down. It was crazy up there. Blowing and raining and scary on a roof.

He was getting the big branches and then the tree shifted while he was cutting and the chainsaw got caught. He tried a bit with a large axe but we had to stop cutting and throw the tarp over, secure it and hope for the best. We did the best we could and we were both exhausted. It wasn’t over, we had to move inside and try to capture the rain.

Below is what we came up with. It worked for a while, that’s a really thick and strong plastic up there. We poked a hole in the bottom to let the rain escape so it wouldn’t pool up too much. It sounded like the rain stopped, so I got about an hour and a half of sleep before I had to get Asher up for school.

Plastic tarp to catch the rain coming in.

These are the photos of the tree and damage outside when Asher went to school.

Maple tree down

Tree on house

It hit both roofs… and the chimney. You see when I say branches, they are the size of full trees themselves. The roof over our living room and dining room had branches pierce the roof in about 10 places, that’s why it was leaking. Daryl was able to patch them with tar paper the night before. I was in the attic shining up a flashlight through the holes to show him where they all were. Not fun.

Tree on house

Daryl had a friend come by in the morning with another chainsaw and a bigger and better tarp and together they started working more on getting the branches off the roof. The sun was shining, it was getting warm and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. I knew that Thursday we were under a marginal risk for severe weather, but you know how that goes… you take it with a grain of salt.

Right. Then later in the morning while the guys were on the roof I heard it rolling in. The skies clouded up and it was thundering. The rain start pouring down. It was coming in the house again in buckets. I couldn’t believe they were still on the roof.

Then I heard a large crack of lightening and it started hailing! They got off there real quick. Meanwhile, I was in the house trying to funnel the now waterfall into those plastic storage bins. The night before I emptied Christmas garland out on to the floor so I could use the bin. They were filling up quick. I emptied it once already by dipping water out with a bowl. It was filling up for a second time!

All of a sudden, the tarp on the roof sucked upward and then back down bringing soaked insulation and shingles down into my catchment system. Of course, it gave way and with it gallons of water onto my floor. When that happened the electric popped and sparked and the electric went out. All I could do was watch it come in. I didn’t even think about being electrocuted, but I could have been as I was standing in the water.

The storm passed and the sun came out again. Water from the lake beside our property was rushing into our lake and all the water coming in from fields flooded into our lake. It sounded like we had waterfalls. It was warming up again, which made me worried because you know that makes the atmosphere unstable.

I’ve always wanted a skylight, just not like this or a down tree.

A giant hole in my roof

Thankfully, nothing more destructive happened to us that day. All in all, my area had 16 funnel cloud sightings that Thursday and we had 3″ of rain in that short period of time.

I don’t think we had a tornado knock our tree down that night, I think it was just really strong straight line winds. We got lucky really. It could’ve ended up so much worse. My son and I sleep on the other end of the house, I shutter to think if a tree had hit our end. My guardian angel helped me out again.

After a weekend of tree cleanup and pulling out the drywall and insulation, tearing up the floors and getting the entire roof properly tarped, we wait. This last week, I’ve had three construction estimators come out and talked with about 6 people on the insurance end. It’s a mess. I hate it. I’m still waiting for estimates and two of them tell me they wouldn’t be able to get to us anyway until June.

My house is in shambles inside. Here’s what the house looks like now outside.

House with tarps on the roof

My friend who is a naturalist thought the Silver Maple tree was probably about 75 years old or so. My son, shown below, is almost my height now, that shows you how big it was. Actually, this is just the part that came down, the trunk is even larger. I hate losing my trees.

tree incident

paintings by Jaime HaneyLearn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

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