• Tree falls through homeowner's roof during storms in Hopedale

    By: Christine McCarthy


    HOPEDALE, Mass. - Whipping winds and fierce downpours led to toppled trees in Milford and Hopedale on Thursday.

    In the middle of all of the chaos and power outages, one resident went home to a tree that had fallen through his roof.

    Tom O'Hara, the owner of the home got a call about a tree through their roof, but didn't expect to see a large tree leaning against the house, with branches piercing the roof and damaging the home's chimney.

    "I thought it would be smaller," O'Hara said. "But now that I'm looking at this tree here, jeez."

    Neighbors in Hopedale heard the ferocious winds, and then heard the snapping on Thursday night.

    "It was very scary," Hopedale resident Mary Rothberg said. "I ran around closing the windows, closing the shades, it was that scary. I heard some cracks, I saw something in my backyard fell down, then this. It was terrifying, really."

    Rothberg said her mind immediately went to a disaster when she heard everything going on.

    "Like a hurricane," Rothberg said. "I thought it was a hurricane coming through."

    Across the street from Rothberg, O'Hara's home was suffering from a unique kind of damage. Meanwhile, his girlfriend had just pulled into the driveway.

    "They just got home, and the tree went boom," O'Hara said.

    His daughter's boyfriend, a firefighter in another town, climbed onto the roof of the home and put a tarp over the damage, while a Hopedale Fire Department crew assisted.

    The fire department advised O'Hara not to go into the main room that was damaged, where he said branches were actually poking through into the room.

    "I've never seen anything like this," Rothberg said.

    In Milford, crews spent hours cleaning up as trees toppled on Howard Street and customers dealt with power outages.

    >>RELATED: Thousands forced to deal with power outages throughout Worcester County

    "The house started shaking, the house isn't supposed to shake," Jerry Brosnan, who lives on the Milford and Hopedale line, said. "I went down to the basement."

    Trees fell both to the left and right of Brosnan's home, while neighbors also took to the basement to hide. 

    In the end, the damage was minimal, and residents were grateful.

    "Nobody got hurt, though," Brosnan said. "So, it's all good."

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