On May 15, the top part of an old oak tree struck my house during a rainstorm. Thankfully, no one was home during the accident besides our dog, who was shaken but retrieved by the Westfield Fire Department. But as my mom and I turned onto Edgewood Avenue and saw flashing lights, police tape and our wrecked home for the first time, we were hit with a wave of fear and shock. My 14-year-old sister had missed the accident by 15 minutes, and the scene in my brother’s bedroom underscores how devastating this could have been.

We have rented this home for nine years, and almost four weeks after the accident, we still have no idea when we are moving back in.

Neighbors took us in that night, and a few days later, we were able to move into a hotel through personal donations from the employees of my mother’s company, the PMUA. We are also lucky enough to have many friends in the area that have been kind enough to take us in. I have no idea where we would be right now without them.

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Every time my mom and I drive past our house, our go-to line is a sarcastic “glad to see people are working hard,” because hardly anything is actually happening. But in all seriousness, I don’t know why this accident hasn’t been a priority. It’s safe to say that my working single mother of three needs her house back. This whole experience has been especially hard for her.

Our landlord is trying his best — the problem is that Travelers Insurance Company isn’t viewing this as an emergency. One would think our situation would be considered more dire than Travelers removing trees just sitting in backyards, but apparently not. Simply put, what is taking so long?