Hamden Homeowner Turns to Social Media for Tornado Help

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“There was a tree in my house. It broke through the roof and took out the sheetrock, all of the insulation was falling down,” explained John Mastriano, who was shocked to see the damage following Thursday’s Tornado.

Mastriano told NBC Connecticut that you could see the sky through the ceiling of his Paradise Avenue home. He tried for three days to reach insurance agents for help, and then things went from bad to worse on Saturday.

“Saturday morning it started raining,” said Mastriano. “And it’s raining inside the house and I’m in a wheelchair and it’s slipping and sliding all over the place and it’s no longer safe for me to be in there.”

So, he turned to Facebook and made a plea for help. He says it often divides people, but this time it brought them together.

“I found out I have some really awesome neighbors,” said Mastriano. And that included one neighbor who saw the post and had a contractor on speed dial.

“She had a contractor that was working on another house at the moment within two hours that contractor was here with a crew and chainsaws and everything," said Mastriano.

Not long after Mastriano posted that message on Facebook, he got responses from neighbors all over Hamden, including people who walked right up the street to see what else he needed.

“It was intense, it brought tears to my eyes, it really did,” said Mastriano.

The crews worked throughout the day Saturday cutting up the tree, getting it off the roof and tarping the damage.

As cleanup continues on Paradise Avenue, Mastriano said he now understands the power of social media and good neighbors.

“It does have its purpose,” said Mastriano. “I’ll never think of it the same way again.”

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