Summer storm destroys Northborough family’s vehicles
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Northborough – When Stephen Dennis and his wife Pamela arrived back at their Northborough home on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 5, after spending a few hours out, they found a most unwelcome surprise. Three trees had been knocked over during an intense afternoon thunderstorm onto two of the family vehicles parked in their driveway.
One of the vehicles was a van that he uses for his business, American Bath Works, Inc. The other was a car belonging to his daughter, Amanda, 19.
Although his van was not totally destroyed, the damage was extensive enough, Stephen said, that “trying to drive it would be like driving a clown car!”
The van was about ten years old and was outfitted with a great deal of equipment that he uses on a daily basis. Fortunately, he said, the equipment was okay although the van’s shelving was knocked down.
Amanda’s car, a Grand Prix, was about ten years old as well, he said.
In surveying the trees that fell, Stephen said he believed it was a strong gust of wind that knocked down a large maple tree which then toppled onto two other trees. Although the trees landed on the two cars, only a few branches landed onto the nearby garage.
“We didn’t see any evidence of a lightning strike,” he said, “so it was probably that the first tree was just weak. That tree looks like it broke off about 20’ up and then the second tree about 30’ up.”
He, along with the help of an employee, spent Monday morning cleaning up the mess. Surprisingly, none of his neighbors incurred any damage from the storm, he noted.
Now, the family, especially Pamela, is juggling schedules so everyone can be where they need to be. (Amanda, who will return to UMass Amherst this fall, is working this summer for the Northborough Recreation Department.)
Stephen is already in discussion with Henry’s Used Autos in Northborough about replacing his work van.
“I have probably bought vans from him for the last 30 years,” he said. “He was shocked when he saw the damage!”
Of course, it is a hassle to replace two of the family’s vehicles but it could have been so much worse, Stephen noted.
“We’re ok, and the house is ok,” he said. “That’s all that really matters!”
(Photos/courtesy Stephen Dennis)
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