It is every homeowner's nightmare: waking to hear a tree crashing into your home. It's not the way anyone wants to start the day.
Clinton residents Martha and Noel Kaletsky were awake in the early hours of January 31 listening to the fierce wind storm that took out power in town and along the shoreline and forced the closing of several school districts including Clinton's.
Hearing the wild wind was one thing: hearing the huge crash of a large tree and all its branches hit your house is another.
"It sounded like a freight train hit our house," said Martha, who with her husband, has owned the home on Glenwood Road for 15 years.
"I handed Noel a flashlight and he went into the spare bedroom," said Martha. "The next thing I heard was "oh no.""
A two and a half foot piece of branch had impaled the ceiling of her guest room.
That was just part of the damage. The tree, a large cedar tree on her neighbor's side of the property, had cracked in half, falling into the Kaletsky's upstairs balcony, guest bedroom and den.
Martha estimates that the balcony on the second floor prevented the tree from taking out the back of the house.
"It's a mess, but thankfully no one was hurt," she said. "I now have a new skylight that I didn't ask for."
Frequently one of her four grandchildren or four children stay in that guest room, she said. She and Noel also have two dogs of their own and were dog-sitting another. The dogs are pretty shaken up, notes Martha, but not hurt.
The morning of the crash, her neighbors came to her house expressing their grave concern.
"They were great," said Martha. "No one could have predicted or planned this. The tree could have gone either way."
The Kaletsky's have called their insurance company who already had the branch removed from the guest bedroom ceiling. There's plenty of work to be done on the ceiling, roof, balcony and gutters.
Martha, who is keeping a great sense of humour throughout this ordeal, said she couldn't believe her luck.
"We survive two hurricanes in the last two years and this happens," she said.