CRANFORD, NJ – The Bornstein Family were fortunate to be away from home on Friday, March 2, when a massive tree came crashing down during the powerful nor’easter that wreaked havoc across the state.
The tree, estimated to stand more than 100 feet tall and weigh more than 20,000 pounds, side-swiped the second floor of the split-level home and landed on top of the attached garage, according to Josh Bornstein. The primary limb of the tree snapped off, crashed into the attic and broke through the ceiling of their master bedroom and bathroom.
“While the house suffered significant damage, we're just thankful that none of us were home at the time and that we are all fine,” Josh told TAPinto Cranford. “The house will eventually be repaired.”
With a second storm brewing, the tree service they hired moved quickly, Bornstein said. They removed the tree off the house and covered the house’s open spaces with tarp before last week’s snow storm arrived.
“They actually tied the tarp down using some of the larger sections of the cut-up tree trunk,” he said.
Josh, his wife, Keren, 10-year-old son, Carter, eight-year-old daughter, Addie and cat, Petey, stayed with his father-in-law for a few days after the storm. The family is currently living in the Homewood Suites and looking for a short-term rental home in the area, Bornstein said. It may be four to five months before they can move back home.
“Having to leave our home, one that we moved into less than two years ago, is definitely tough,” Bornstein said. “But we know we will be back in time. We are trying our best to keep things in perspective and remind our kids that we are grateful for a lot in our lives. The majority of the damage was to our home. We lost some personal property, but most of it will be replaced by the insurance company.”
In the meantime, the family has received incredible support from the community, Bornstein said.
“We are so grateful for our community here in Cranford,” he said. “Our friends, neighbors and even our kids' principal and teachers have all been incredibly supportive and generous in reaching out to see what we may need. In most cases, it has simply been their willingness to take our kids for a few hours to play while we sort through all that needs to be done.”
Bornstein also thanked the first responders and Cranford companies for their help during the storm itself.
“We are also very grateful to the Cranford fire department and Brighton Air Corporation for their immediate response and help on the night of the storm,” he added.