Close call
Donna Lafrance joked with a television news crew she was thinking of relocating to Alaska because it was probably safer, the couple will remain at the South Russell Road home, where they’ve lived for many years.    Van Dusen photo

The steel roof from the barn lay like crumpled paper in a field 100 feet away; the new steel roof on the Lafrances’ house escaped unscathed. Van Dusen photo

Tom Van Dusen
Villager Contributor
RUSSELL–Andy and Donna Lafrance had their work cut out for them over the long weekend… they were still cleaning up after the second major storm to visit their yard in recent months last Wednesday.

Thankful no one was hurt on either occasion, the Lafrances are philosophical about the near misses, pointing out that natural disasters can occur anywhere. While Donna joked with a television news crew she was thinking of relocating to Alaska because it was probably safer, the couple will remain at the South Russell Road home where they’ve lived for many years.

“Bring it on!,” Andy joked when asked if he was worried about any further weather eruptions in his yard.

The first storm ripped half of the shingles off their roof. Andy was at home at the time and was shocked at the ferocity of the raging winds which only lasted for a few seconds.

This time, neither Andy nor Donna were home. Andy was working nearby and was surprised that so much damage was done both at his place and next door where a storage barn was shattered. The steel roof from the barn lay like crumpled paper in a field 100 feet away; the new steel roof on the Lafrances’ house escaped unscathed.

The latest storm toppled a giant Manitoba Maple in the Lafrance front yard like a bowling pin, pulling a root clump about 10-feet across right out of the ground. By some miracle, the massive trunk avoided the house and much of it had been cut and cleaned up by Saturday. Some siding was torn off outside walls and the heavy propane tank behind the house was shifted on its base.

“If the tank would have cracked open somehow, with all the debris flying around, there could have been a spark and an explosion,” Andy said. To be on the safe side, a new tank will be delivered shortly.

The moral of the story: “Be kind to Mother Nature and say your prayers every night,” Andy said.

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