Tree falls on Norfolk home and pins woman during Dorian, family loses everything


High winds whip through Buxton, N.C., just after dawn as Hurricane Dorian passes nearby on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. A weakened Hurricane Dorian flooded homes on North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday with a ferocity that seemed to take storm-hardened residents by surprise. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A tree crashed into a duplex in Norfolk during the height of Hurricane Dorian.

The homeowner who lives on one side suffered massive water damage, but the tenant next door suffered broken bones and lost everything she owned. 

It happened on Picadilly Street in the East Norview area.

Friday morning, Tamika Proctor received a wake-up call no one wants, a tree crashing through her roof, pinning her to the bed. She says this happened around 8:30 a.m. when Dorian passed overhead. 

“Everything just came down on me,” said Proctor. “I started screaming and hollering and I was pinned.”

Ashleigh Gagnon was in the other half of the duplex during the storm. She woke up to the house shaking and says she though it was going to crumble. Then she heard people yelling for help.

Proctor’s teenage daughter and young cousin were banging on her front door. 

“I jumped over the post and ran inside up to help Tamika,” Gagnon said. “There was insulation everywhere. The roof was missing.”

Gagnon’s boyfriend owns the duplex. He was also at home and called 911. 

Emergency responders took Proctor to the hospital. She had a fractured arm, a broken finger and lots of bruises. Her voice is also very weak from inhaling all the insulation. 

Inside the home, everything the family owned was destroyed. The most painful loses for Tamika are the personal items and mementos that can’t be replaced. 

Now she’s left to worry about how to pay for everything they lost. Proctor says she has renters insurance, but her policy doesn’t cover natural disasters. 

“People who have insurance, they need to know they need additional insurance because regular tenant insurance did not pay for natural disaster,” Proctor explained. “It’s something completely different that I would have never ever in a million years thought about.”

To help Tamika pick up the pieces, Gagnon started a GoFundMe page. The goal is to raise $5,000.

“How do you help someone who’s lost everything? You can’t, not really, but you can try your best to help them replace the things that they lost,” Gagnon said.

For now the Red Cross is helping Proctor and her family with housing and food.  

Gagnon says experts estimate repairs could take as long as six months.

There’s also the possibility the building will be deemed a total loss after more inspections. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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