Monday, March 22, 2010

A Big Tree Fell on It

Sunday morning on Hilton Head we got a call from Daniel, who was back in New Hampshire taking care of the dog. “A tree fell on the house last night. A big tree. A REALLY big tree. Water is pouring into the attic and down the wall in the hall.” Yikes!

We call our homeowner’s insurance company. “Due to extremely high call volume in your area, please call back later.” Well, we have had a lot of wind storms recently. I give them ten minutes and then call back again. After twenty minutes I manage to get someone on the line to report the damage. In the meantime Lee finds a tree removal service in Salem and calls them. They promise to come right out and get the tree off the house and make some temporary repairs so that the water will stop getting in, until we can get the roof fixed.

View of Big Tree from the Front of the House

Pine Branches Piercing the Roof from the Attic

Apparently Saturday night there was a huge storm in Salem. One of the giant pines trees in the wetlands in front of our house, its root system weakened by all the snow and rain we’ve had, fell over. Five of the tall spiky branches on the tree pierced the roof. The tree was so large that it came across the entire house and the top of the tree fell on the deck behind the house.

The Part of the Tree that Ended Up in the Back Yard

This all happened in the middle of the night. Daniel heard it fall, but just thought it was lightening. Fortunately it was at the opposite end of the house from where he sleeps. He got up in the morning and took Harper outside, but didn’t notice the tree. He fell asleep on the couch for awhile, got up and took Harper outside again, and THEN noticed the tree. Well it WAS raining pretty hard at the time, but if you look at the picture above, the door from the kitchen to the deck where we normally take Harper outside, is right next to where the top of the tree landed. Maybe the boy needs to start drinking coffee...

When we get back to New Hampshire we are impressed by the size of that tree. Suddenly the  remaining huge trees in the wetlands in front of our house take on a menacing quality. Will another one decide it wants to fall over and squish our house again? Its not a comforting thought.

Wetlands in Front of the House, Where Many More Trees Reside

Fortunately the insurance adjuster comes quickly and is very accommodating. Service Master comes and starts drying things out. Lee finds a good contractor through friends at work and they start on the necessary repairs.

Everyone up here to which we relate this story just laughs and says “Welcome to New Hampshire!” Hmmm…


  1. Welcome to New England indeed! Guess you have to decide the feasibility of the proximity of a few of those BIG trees to the house.

    Ah well when he woke up he did go right to work!

  2. Jeez....sorry about that. When Hurricane Isabel hit D.C. I made everyone sleep in the basement, afraid that the huge trees perched precariously on a steep hill behind our house would do just what this one did.
    I heard that storm did a lot of damage.

  3. Yeah, it's kinda scary to think about, so many trees and you never expect what could be in store with Mother Nature. Still, it's great that no one was hurt from this, really great! The roofing looks like it got hit hard, but that's repairable, right?



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