Homeowners face days-long tornado cleanup

Tornado destroys Bridgton home

BRIDGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Monday was the first workday after four tornadoes touched down in western Maine, leaving behind severe damage.

One of the worst hit areas is near Highland Lake in Bridgton. That’s where an EF-1 tornado with winds up to 110 mph snapped trees, crushing numerous cars and buildings.

Donna Bruton’s ceiling has a gaping hole where a huge part of a tree tore through with such force, her adjusters think the whole house shifted when it fell. Amazingly, she saw the winds picking up Saturday and was downstairs when this happened, and doesn’t even have a scratch.

Bruton is now one of a handful trying to clean up, a process happening slowly because of the holiday weekend.

Tree removal companies have been using cranes and chainsaws to get branches off roofs, like Bruton’s.

“Q-Team was here yesterday morning and removed all the weight from the house," Burton said, "and they’ll be back in a few more days to clean up the rest of the damage and remove the rest of the trees that are hanging over."

The Maine’s Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) said damage is relatively isolated to individual pieces of private property. Since there isn’t much damage to public property, MEMA said the burden for repairs is almost solely on property owners.

People on Highland Road, for instance, are now working with their insurance companies to figure out what’s going to be covered or not. Most still have no idea how much they’ll have to pay.

“It’s complicated,” said Seth Dematties. “We’re working with the insurance company now and they’re going to do an assessment. We’ve just had to go ahead and have the tree service come.”

It may be days until that becomes clear and the beginning of the cleanup is over.

MEMA has not requested federal assistance from FEMA but said it can within 30 days if aid is deemed necessary. 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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