Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Unexpected Early-Morning Wake-up Crash

Not that I mean to only write when we've had something bad occur with the house, but this happened...

About 10 days ago, while Mr. Kluges was in Ireland on a business trip, Mother Nature decided that what this extended late winter, is-spring-ever-coming season needed was an ice storm.  A BIG ice storm spiced up with just a little bit of wind.  Yay.

About 5:30 am, I was woken by the sound of some small branches breaking off the tree outside my window.  I didn't think too much of it, as it's a weak tree that often loses a small branch or two in any sort of wind or ice. I lay there, listening to the tap of the freezing rain on my window, and the occasional tinkle of a small branch breaking off and making its way through its brothers to the ground.  Then there was a sudden HUMONGOUS snapping, loud and extended crashing, and a giant, house-shaking BOOM!  I knew right away one of the main branches on one of our neighbor's trees on the property line to the south had come down and definitely hit our house. I tore out of bed into Penguin's room, sure I was going to see branches poking through her window and an hysterical child in bedFortunately, and unbelievably to me at the time, the window was unbroken and Penguin remained asleep.

But I could see out her window that it was more than just that one branch, big as it was.  I then raced over to Pumpkin's room 'cuz the branches obviously went that far - she was awake & asked what that big thunder was.  I told her it was a tree hitting the house, then threw on some clothes, grabbed a flashlight & went out to see what I could see. 

Turns out I was wrong - it wasn't the one large branch we'd always thought would eventually give way and hit our sun porch.  Instead it looked like the entire tree itself had broken off right at the ground and hit our sun porch, with at least some branches hitting the top roof, and it was resting mostly on our sun porch roof, which was obviously damaged and partially crushed.  I couldn't see very much because it was still so dark, but after determining that apparently none of the tree had gone through walls or windows, I went in and messaged Mr. Kluges, who was, with the 6 hour time different, awake and at work.

Once it got light, I went out and snapped some photos so Mr. Kluges could get a better sense of the damage and what had happened
.  Here's how it looked.

The red arrow is the base of the tree, where it broke off from its roots. The yellow arrow shows branches coming completely over the top of the sun porch roof, and the blue one shows branches hitting the top roof.
Our side yard
The poor smashed sun porch roof

The reach of the tree up onto the top roof
Penguin's window, the original one I'd expected to be broken out
Pumpkin's window view, with roof completely covered with branches
The view from the backyard
This WAS the gate to the backyard.

Once the girls were off to school, I contacted the insurance company, and then our tree guy, who wasn't able to come out that day because, gosh, he was really busy and we didn't have any branches actually breaking INTO our house (thank God!).  Later that morning, one of our other neighbors called to say she was sending her husband (and his chainsaw) over about 1pm when he got home from work.  They showed up, and between the three of us and his chainsaw and some ropes, managed to get the tree off of the house.  It got easier to see some of the damage then.

Of course, the branches did a number on our custom gutters!

Since then the insurance adjustor has been out, and so has our contractor.  We're waiting for progress with that.  Mr. Kluges and the neighbor whose tree it was decided to take care of the rest of the tree themselves, so it's now all chopped up and off our yard.  The sun porch roof is going to need significant work, the main roof might need some (thankfully we have some of our special shingles around!), and the gutters are obviously in need of repair.  Surprisingly, it looks like just the gate took the brunt of the tree, but the rest of the fence looks ok.  Somehow, no windows were broken and nothing came through the roof or walls!!!!  I'm counting my blessings on that one!

(Cross-posted to Musings & Mutterings.)