More than a week after storms ripped through Connecticut, Hamden residents are still trying to pick up the pieces.
"We'd left the car thirty seconds before the tree fell, so it could have landed on us," said Hamden resident Larry Leson.
For now that Subaru where Leson and his girlfriend had been moments before remains crushed in the driveway, totaled by a 70-year-old tree. It's hard to see, but there's also another car right next to the Subaru, hidden by large branches.
"There's a mountain of work left to do," said Leson.
With damage to the roof, the garage, and possibly the well, Leson thinks it will take months before things get back to normal at the home on Hillfield Road. He told NBC Connecticut he's received an estimate of $3,000 to remove the giant maple on his cars but said insurance is only willing to pay $500. He added that they won't pay anything to remove all the trees down in the backyard.
"The one tree that hits your house, you can argue with your insurance company over it, but all the other trees, there's no one to clear them out," Leson said. "It's a real problem for everyone to clear up, but no one is really insured for this. We need the town's help and FEMA's help to clear the trees out of here."
Town leaders are hoping FEMA will step in to help them as well. On Wednesday night the town council authorized shifting funds and borrowing up to $2 million to pay for the cleanup, something they're hoping the federal agency will eventually reimburse them for.
"This was truly unprecedented," said Hamden Council President Mick McGarry. "These neighborhoods will be changed for decades to come."
At the DPW lot residents brought in truckloads of debris, which is piled up more than 10 feet high. They can also bring their debris to the transfer lot and to the Quinnipiac parking lot at Evergreen and Whitney at no cost.
The DPW director said the curbside brush pickup is ongoing and that crews will make several more passes.