PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As the Pacific Northwest bathes in unseasonably sunny, unseasonably warm weather this week, the scope of last year’s brutal ice storm may seem like distant memory. But, not for everyone. Some are still reeling from storm destruction and home damage
One year later, Patty Hall told KOIN 6 News she is still displaced after her neighbor’s large tree crashed into her newly-built custom home, just four miles north of Silverton, Oregon on Feb. 12, 2021.
“I had a tree with two trunks – 15 inches around each – fall into my house. And it went from one end of the house all the way to the other,” Hall said. “Because there was so much tree debris and they[crews] were so swamped, it took three months to get the tree out of the house and even begin to demo the inside.”
Hall explained that she had only been in the home for 14 months before the storm damage forced her to move in with her daughter. She told KOIN 6 News she has learned to practice patience as the increased demand for arborists and contractors significantly slowed down her plans for reconstruction.
“The biggest thing I learned from this was to be patient and kind to people, no matter how frustrated I got with all the delays,” Hall said. “There were not enough people to work, and there was more work than there was people. I needed supplies and they couldn’t get them.”
Because Hall lived just outside city limits, she told KOIN 6 News she was limited in the amount of aid the city could provide. Although the tree service came to cut off the ends the following Monday, Hall said the crews did not have the machinery needed to fully remove the tree until three months later.
Despite the frustrations and multiple delays, Hall said she has now hired a wonderful contracting team and she hopes to be back in her home by late March or early April.
Throughout this stressful process, Hall told KOIN 6 News she was most surprised by the overwhelming amount of kindness and empathy she received from her community.
“So many kind, considerate people have told me they are so glad I wasn’t hurt and are praying my house gets fixed as son as possible, because they all know how much delay is happening, and how much it costs to rebuild from 18 months ago,” Hall recounted. “They know it’s going to exceed what my insurance will cover because of labor and material costs. It’s just been crazy. But everybody has been very supportive and kind.”
As Hall continues to rebuild her home and patiently waits for it to be finished, she said she often looks back on the 2021 ice storm and the ongoing impact it has had on her life in disbelief.
“I’m in an older neighborhood and the people that live around me say that in the 50 years they’ve lived here: Number one, they’ve never been evacuated for fire – and we were evacuated during the fires. Two, they have never had a storm like this and …,” Hall laughed. “I say, strike three is not going to happen.”