Why I Haven’t Written For Two Days

For the past two days, I’ve been in Knoxville, dealing with this:

That’s my mother’s house, and a very big and tall tree in her yard that decided it wanted to lean on her house on Wednesday. Fortunately, my mom was not hurt. The house, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.

Here’s the view from the front walk:

And a little closer:

If all the tree had done was crush the front porch, it wouldn’t have been so bad. What you can’t see from this vantage point is that a major branch of the tree pointed to the back of the house. When the tree fell, it was THAT branch that did a good deal of damage. Essentially, it crashed down the peak of the gable of the roof, pushing out the joists in front, back, and end of the house, and trashing the left two-thirds of the house.

Here’s the back wall, above the deck:

And here are some interior views.

Looking through the living room toward the front porch. Note the collapsed ceiling.

And the dining room, also with collapsed ceiling.

And, just for good measure, here’s one from the end of the house. Note the root area that came out of the ground.

As bad as they are, the pictures truly don’t do justice to the impact on the house. If you look at the last picture, you can see where the roof line disappears. Essentially, from that point on to the end of the house is trashed.

The construction person sent out today by the insurance company says that in order to repair this, they are going to have to remove all of the main floor down to the foundation, except for the back two bedrooms. Then, they are going to have to rebuild the house from the foundation up.

The real fun, of course, is that it has rained on and off since it happened, including some pretty heavy downpours. With the roof essentially missing, the rain has just come right through the house into the basement.

The rain has ruined most of the furniture in the LR, DR, and den. The chairs and sofas will all have to be thrown away. The wooden furniture, too, has been in the rain for two days. My grandmother’s dining room table is probably ruined, although they are going to try to save it. The piano, ditto. The china cabinet, the hutch, the sideboard — all probably ruined.

It will take a crane to take the tree off the house, and that probably won’t happen until Monday at the earliest. Meanwhile, it is supposed to storm every day for the next week. So, the construction crew came out today and cut off enough of the tree that they could put a tarp over the house AND the tree, to stop any more rain from coming in. If you look again at the first picture, you can see the guys putting on the tarp.

 

All in all, a pretty eventful two days. Tomorrow we meet with the adjuster, to see how this is going to play out, and how much the insurance company will cover. Then comes another decision: where Mom is going to live for the next three months while her home is rebuilt.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Haven’t Written For Two Days”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear this Bruce! I’ll keep y’all in my prayers. This is definitely awful to hear!

  2. Thanks, David — it’s been quite a ride. Mom is here in The Ville with me right now, and we’re trying to decide what to do next. Appreciate the note and the prayers!

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