Couple staying put for now as work to remove tree from their house begins
George and Blanche Glover heard a loud boom Saturday night at their Stratford Place home and immediately knew a tree had hit their house. What the couple didn’t know was how massive the damage was to the place they’ve called home for 28 years.
A large oak tree fell onto their house Saturday around 8:45 p.m., nearly splitting the house in two.
George said they knew it was a tree because it made the same sound when a tree fell onto the home of their neighbors, Michelle and Robert Spieler.
George attributes both incidents to the massive amounts of rain and wind that hit the area.
“It was raining that day the tree fell at the neighbor’s,” George said.
A friend called and asked the fire department to go to the house. Fire officials wanted to cut the power to the home, but George refused. George, who is a retired electrical engineer, went to the fuse box and flipped the switch himself. The couple still have power, but they had to have the cable line reconnected.
After the tree fell, Blanche stayed with a friend. “I was shaking so much,” Blanche said. “I’m OK now.”
George never left the house. The Glovers have decided to stay put for now despite a large tree in the middle of the home.
“The structure of the house is pretty solid,” George said.
Blanche said she didn’t sleep much the night the tree came down, but she was able to get a good night’s sleep Sunday night.
About 30 minutes before the tree fell, Blanche had gone into the bedroom to get ready for bed. She had brushed her teeth and went into the den. George was in the office where he’d just turned the computer off so he could join Blanche in the den. A large portion of the tree ended up in the office, and more of it was across the hallway, into a guest bedroom and out the front door.
When the tree fell, Robert Spieler came to check on them. He contacted a tree service company and the contractor who worked on his house. The tree service workers went to the Glovers’ house the night the tree fell and helped place a tarp over the roof. A little bit of rain got into the house, but the couple placed a trash can underneath the ceiling to catch the droplets.
A-1 Tree Service and the contractor, Sells & Sons Construction, returned to the home Monday to further assess the damage and figure out the best way to remove the tree.
Some of the branches have been trimmed in the front of the home, but the large trunk still rests on the house. The tree also damaged part of the back deck. Once inside, the kitchen, den and bedrooms look pristine. But walk a little farther inside toward the middle and things get a little messy. The insulation and other debris spill out into the hallway just outside the office. The rafters and wood are exposed along with a little light from outside showing through the office.
The Glovers were told it could take three months or more to repair the home.
Blanche doesn’t believe she’ll stick around while the repairs are being made, but George isn’t going anywhere if he can help it.
George said the contractor indicated he’ll be able to seal off parts of the house and work on one room at a time.
The couple moved to the home years ago because they liked the open floor plan and the trees, Blanche said.
Despite the tree falling into her home, “This hasn’t changed my opinion,” she said about what they’ve always liked about the property.
She said she would consider cutting down a few of the trees that are closer to the house.
Even with various storms in the past, including Hurricane Hugo in the 1980s, the Glovers have never had a tree fall on the house. During the hurricane, they had limbs fall in the yard, but none ever touched the house.
The couple called their children on Sunday to tell them about the tree falling, and that they were all right.
George joked that his wife wanted to redo the carpet in the den, and now she’ll get her wish.
“I didn’t want to do it this way,” he said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.