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Ronkonkoma family gets big-time scare

Dan Walters and his family began cleaning up

Dan Walters and his family began cleaning up after strong winds from superstorm Sandy caused a tree on their property in Ronkonkoma to fall on their roof and two cars on Monday night. (Oct. 31, 2012) Credit: Brittany Wait

Dan Walters and his 14-year-old daughter, Rebecca ran to their backyard on Monday night to secure a trampoline that was thrashed around by strong winds during superstorm Sandy.

“I heard a really loud crack and thought someone got hurt in the house,” said Rebecca, who witnessed an intense spark of light that night after a power line fell right in front of her. “I was freaking out. We were all freaking out.”

On Monday, at 6 p.m., the winds were so strong that a 40-foot oak tree on their property in Ronkonkoma fell on the roof of their home, piercing two holes into the ceiling of her parents’ bedroom.

“I found shingles and a tree branch under my bed,” said her mother, Ursula Walters, 51. “I can’t believe the amount of roofing that came down in my bedroom.”

The night Sandy hit Long Island, Ursula Walters looked out the window at the trees swaying back and forth in the backyard, concerned for her family’s safety when they were tying down the trampoline.

“It just hit in gusts. It was horrendous, watching it from the window,” Ursula Walters said. “That was the last tree I thought would fall. It was a strong, healthy tree.”

The tree also fell on two of their three cars, bending the frame and damaging the hood of a 2008 Hyundai Tucson and denting a 1996 Dodge Caravan.

While the family waits for the insurance company to come, the kids spend hours on Tuesday and Wednesday raking leaves and picking up tree branches in the front yard.

“I can’t believe the amount of damage that was done to the roof, but I’m glad no one was hurt,” Ursula Walters said.

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