SIDNEY — A huge white pine split and toppled onto a Sidney home during the snowstorm Thursday, just eight hours after the owners had sold it to their son and his wife.

The Parlin family was trying to pick up the pieces Friday, after branches penetrated the attic of the ranch-style home at 544 Quaker Road and pushed insulation through the drywall ceiling and into a bedroom and a bedroom closet.

“I’m just glad no one got hurt,” Anja Parlin said Friday morning as the family awaited the return of an arborist from Chavarie Tree Service, of Sidney. Paul Parlin was using a snowblower to widen a path around to the back of the house for the heavy equipment.

Once the branches were cut away, the Parlins could try to get the holes in the roof covered up.

The damage came amid a powerful snowstorm that dumped a foot or more of snow across central Maine, knocking out power to thousands. Cars slid off area roads, power lines fell, and businesses and homeowners dug out from the first major storm of the winter season.

At the Parlin home, the midnight crash came as parents Larry and Doris Parlin, son Paul Parlin and his wife, Anja Parlin, were preparing for bed.

“I heard this sound; it sounded like snow falling from the metal roof,” Anja Parlin said. But the sound rose until it seemed like a freight train was coming through the house, Larry Parlin said. The four then went to work.

Father and son assessed the damage in the attic — at least four of the joists were split — and tried to prevent the snow and rain from penetrating farther into the home, which was built in the 1980s. The metal roof helped prevent other branches from poking in.

On the main floor, the women shifted items out from under the places where the drywall had broken with the weight of the branches.

After two hours, they went to bed, only to reawaken about 3:30 a.m. when the power went out. They didn’t know the source of the outage, because the tree had fallen on the other side of the house.

“It was a little scary,” Anja Parlin said. “I didn’t get a lot of sleep.”

Larry Parlin started a fire in a wood stove in the daylight basement to try to keep the house warm.

They had been in contact with an agent for their homeowner’s insurance. Doris Parlin said the policy has a large deductible.

Larry Parlin shook his head from side to side as he surveyed the damage. “They are just getting started on their lives together,” he said.

“Now they have a tree house,” Doris Parlin said.

Half of the pine still towers some 80 feet tall, rot clearly visible on the inside of the tree where the split occurred. “You would not have seen that from the outside,” Larry Parlin said.

The older Parlins, both former Litchfield officials — he as selectman and she as town clerk — live in Eagle Lake. They had come south to sign papers at the real estate closing set for 3:30 Thursday afternoon. Then the family returned to toast the transfer of the property to the younger couple.

Paul Parlin, 28, works at T-Mobile in Oakland. He had arranged to have Friday off in advance to visit with his parents. Anja Parlin, 27, works at J.S. McCarthy Printers in Augusta, and called in Friday to say she would be out for that day.

The couple married in August 2015.

“Let’s say I won’t forget this day,” Anja Parlin said, adding that she hopes for better in 2017.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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