by Terry Rogers
Tropical Storm Isiais roared through the Delmarva Peninsula on Tuesday, August 4, leaving behind a trail of destruction from high winds and water. Several tornadoes wreaked havoc throughout the peninsula with one believed to have touched down in Evergreen Acres and Chestnut Knoll, a small development off of Old Shawnee Road in Milford.
Holly VanAuken is well aware of the destruction that a tornado can cause after large trees fell on her Evergreen Lane home on Tuesday. Large trees fell on her home, sending rain and debris into her living room. Water, parts of her home, insulation and more lay on the floor. VanAuken was not home at the time as she was on the way to work, but her young son, Jameson and her mother, Donna, were both in the house. Her mother heard the sound of the wind and the cracking of the trees, allowing her to grab Jameson and run to the other side of the house. They had been sitting on the sofa when the storm began and narrowly missed being struck by debris.
“I cannot even pronounce the name of the storm that just destroyed my home,” VanAuken posted on her Facebook page where she posted photos of the destruction. Her home was rendered unlivable but, luckily she had insurance to cover the majority of the damage to her home. However, there are also many trees in her yard that have been uprooted and deemed unsafe as they have the potential to fall on the home. Unfortunately, insurance will not cover the removal of those trees as they have not fallen and damaged the structure.
“Holly is a nurse and is the sweetest, caring person,” Jessica Jenney, Holly’s friend, said. “This is one of the most caring communities in Delaware so I thought we could come together to help this young mom to the sweetest little four-year old boy make her home safe again.”
Jenney created a crowd-sourcing fund raiser on Spotfund with a goal of $3,000 to help VanAuken remove the trees from her property. Within a few days, the fund had raised just over $1,300 from more than 30 people.
“Perspective,” Eddie Morris said on VanAuken’s Facebook page. “All those trees around your house will be cleared off before the next storm comes and won’t damage the house again. You got this.” Others commented that a home can be repaired and trees removed but people cannot, pointing out that Jameson and her mother were okay after such devastation.
VanAuken was overwhelmed by the support she received after posting her photos and by Jenney’s creation of the fund raising page.
“I am so grateful for all the support,” VanAuken said. “I am extremely thankful that my son and my mother are okay. I am also extremely thankful for the support I have received, the offers for help, what Jessica has done and for so much more.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund raiser can click here to reach the Spotfund page.