West End Residents Recover From Sandy
Some people were forced from their homes due to trees down, water damage.
Monday night was scary for 10-year-old Melissa Alvarez.
Alvarez, who lives with her family at Seminary Hill Apartments on Kenmore Avenue, was sleeping as Hurricane Sandy pounded the area but awoke when her dad closed a door.
“I was feeling nervous,” she said. “I was shaking like a chihuahua!”
Melissa’s family was one of several households evacuated from their apartments after strong winds damaged the roof, and heavy rain caused water problems, said city spokesman Tony Castrilli. The Alvarez family was able to find shelter at a friend’s house, Melissa said.
“It started making a lot of noise, and then the fire department came and told us we got to evacuate, because the roof was going to break off and go down,” she said. “We started packing and we called our friend and she said we could spend the night at her house.”
The family wasn’t allowed back to the apartment Tuesday, she said.
Eden Kidane, another Seminary Hill Apartments resident, suffered some damage near her apartment but did not have to evacuate. She was at work Monday night and discovered the damage when she returned home Tuesday morning.
“What I see today, when I get off work, I see in the hallway area there is some leakage,” she said. “So, I just reported it, so they’re going to come in and take care of it.”
Kidane was working her job as a security officer in the district during the storm and said it was unsettling. “It was, but thanks to God, we’re safe,” she said. “We’re safe, and we’re OK.”
The storm also sent a 100-year-old, 100-foot-tall white oak crashing through the home of Donnan Wintermuth on Vicar Lane, located off Quaker Lane.
At about 3:45 p.m. Monday, wind gusts sent the tree through the right wing of her house, severing it from the rest of her home. At the time, Wintermuth was at the other end of the house, in her master bedroom making a telephone call, when she heard the noise.
“I heard a giant, giant crash — boom,” she said. “The whole house shook.”
She looked into the backyard and, seeing the oak limbs, thought a tree had fallen there. Then, she looked into the front yard and realized the tree had fallen over the house into the back yard.
The tree fell into a wind with a bedroom, a bathroom and an office over a garage and a kitchen.
Currently, Winthermuth can’t live in the house and is staying with gracious neighbors. Dealing with the tree removal company, insurance and electricians has been a “giant hassle,” she said.
The entire portion of the house where the tree fell will need to be taken down due to structural damage, she said. “I expect this is going to be a six, eight, 10-month project,” she said.
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