I don’t think I mentioned it on this blog, but back in August a huge storm came up suddenly and we were left with damage to our house and car.
It was a Sunday afternoon – August 21st, and my husband was out shopping. I noticed the skies had darkened to that sickly stormy green that you see before a tornado touches down. I stepped out onto our enclosed front porch hoping that my husband had come home because I had a feeling the storm was going to be bad. Just then, the rain started coming down violently. I tried closing the windows of our enclosed porch as the rain rushed in and as I did I saw our car trying to pull into the driveway.
Shortly after my husband pulled into our driveway I thought about running outside to help him bring in the groceries that he’d just purchased, but just then there was a crash on the house, and then the roof on the enclosed porch and then all I could see were branches covering my whole small lawn, walkway and our car!
Did my husband make it out of the car? Was he still inside?
I couldn’t hear anything. The rain was crashing down so hard and I could barely see out the windows. I tried going back inside the house and I saw the power was out. Then, I tried to get out of the house and the front door was blocked by tree branches so I couldn’t get out.
For a few minutes I didn’t know if my husband was still in the car and if he was ok or not. Then as the rain started to die down I saw my husband get out of the car. When he made it to me he told me that he’d been trying to call me with the cellphone, but of course the power was off inside the house so our cordless phone wasn’t working. I had however pounded on the wall and managed to alert our next door neighbor and he came out to see what was going on and man was he surprised to see that a huge branch from his city tree had fallen on our houses!’
Funny how things happen – about half an hour before the storm I had noticed the neighbors that we share our driveway with arrive and it looked like they were going to park in the driveway but they didn’t. If they had it would have been there car that had been hit by the huge branch. Of course our car only had a few little scratches on it – the main damage was to our house and our other neighbors evestroughs when the huge branch came crashing down and oh … to some of my roses too. What I was going to say though was that if I had run out of the porch to help my husband with the groceries or if my husband had gotten out of the car immediately upon arriving home either of use could have been hit by that branch – so yeah – it’s funny how things happen, thee things averted I suppose you could say.
The branch that fell on our walkway, garden bed, lawn and car was over twenty feet in length and I estimate – especially after we cut it up! – that it weighed over 500 pounds, perhaps substantially more.
Anyway this post is getting long! We called our insurance company to let them know what happened, but we didn’t make a claim. We were told that there was a good chance that because it was a city tree that we could make a claim against the city. Uh huh. Well the power was out for about 7 hours that day and it took me until close to ten in the evening to get in touch with Toronto’s city information number 311 where I got a reference number for my claim and also informed the city that I needed an “urban forestry” cleanup ie all that wood on my lawn!
My semi-detached house neighbor and I both put in claims with the city about the damage to our houses from the city tree. Unfortunately I just found out last week that the city turned down our claim because it was a storm – ie caused by nature so they aren’t to blame. I’m pretty sure our neighbor got the same answer so I guess we’ll have to get together and either compare insurance quotes or just equally chip in for repairs to our evestroughs. We definitely need to fix them before winter!