Hurricane hangover: How one Norfolk woman is dealing with a massive uninvited guest

Posted at 2:45 PM, Oct 10, 2016

NORFOLK, Va. - With over 100 trees down in Norfolk, many residents are recovering from a “hurricane hangover”, still waiting for power and clearing debris from their yards.

Norfolk resident Susan Bonfil say her hurricane headaches are just beginning.

Norfolk resident Susan Bonfil say her hurricane headaches are just beginning.

But Norfolk resident Susan Bonfil says her hurricane headaches are just getting started, after a massive tree fell on top of her home Saturday night.

“24/7, I’ve been on the phone with these people,” Susan told News 3, in reference to Dominion Power, the City of Norfolk and her State Farm insurance agent.

While it’s clear what the damage is on the outside of Susan’s home, she invited News 3 in to see the damage from the inside.

A gaping hole in her ceiling, and a floor littered with insulation and debris, the damage inside Susan’s home is breathtaking.

A partial shot of the damage inside Susan Bonfil's Norfolk home.

A partial shot of the damage inside Susan Bonfil's Norfolk home.

“It was only maybe the corner of my house, and then yesterday,” Susan explained, “it [grew] to here,” gesturing to the rest of her ceiling.

Susan says she can’t get answers from Dominion, the city or her State Farm insurance agent about when help might arrive. According to Susan, the tree cannot be cut down until Dominion turns off the power to the lines.

“My concern is that the tree is so tall, it is so big, and the way it’s lying on the house this way, I’m afraid the branches are now on the next door neighbor’s house,” she said.

Every minute Susan waits for an insurance agent, her most precious items – her mother’s keepsakes– are rotting away.

“This quilt that she made by hand,” Susan told News 3, choking back tears, “it is all wet, and there is insulation all over it. It’s probably ruined.”

However, like many neighborhoods across Hampton Roads, the damage is bringing neighbors closer together.

A handwritten letter posted on Susan’s door from a friendly neighbor named Allison, offering to store her most previous items, was the silver lining to her rather gloomy day.

“I want to thank you Allison,” Susan said. “What a great introduction, and I will come down and visit you when I get all this mess cleared away,” she said with a laugh.

State Farm has since released this statement:

We noted your earlier segment about customer Susan Bonfil and her concerns with not being in touch with her State Farm agent. We followed up and apparently during the initial claim reporting process, wrong contact numbers were somehow logged for the customer and when the agent tried to call earlier today he was not able to contact her. We did further research and the agent has since made contact with a correct number. The agent has been in touch with Ms. Bonfil to follow up on the claim, and we believe she is now satisfied that her claim is being handled and recovery has started.