SOUTH CHINA — Carol Thibodeau was trapped. During Monday’s historic storm, a large hemlock tree came crashing down over the driveway of her Rocky Road home.

Thibodeau, whose birthday was Monday, contacted Central Maine Power to ask for help removing the tree. That assistance arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and she got more than she bargained for.

A three-man crew from Michigan arrived, contracted by CMP to help with storm recovery, after having driven for 23 hours with just three hours of sleep.

“They were as happy and pleasant as you can imagine,” Thibodeau said.

Workers from Michigan contracted by Central Maine Power cut up a hemlock tree Thursday that fell over the driveway at Carol Thibodeau’s South China home. Photo courtesy of Carol Thibodeau

Thibodeau’s grandson, Reid, 7, who lives with his family in Manchester, was visiting on Wednesday and mentioned that he wanted to make a chair out of wood for his mom and dad for Christmas. Thibodeau relayed the request to the workers.

“One of them says, ‘I’ll give it a try,'” Thibodeau recounted Thursday at her home, which was still running on a generator because power on her road had not yet been restored.

The wooden chair was carved with a chainsaw and presented to Reid, while another worker carved “I ♥ you” into another log.

For Thibodeau, it was a moment of kindness and light during a dark time of hardship.

“They were great,” Thibodeau said. “I gave them all the peanut brittle I could think of.”

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