STRONG — George Carter had just watched a tornado warning on television Monday afternoon when it started to rain — sprinkling at first — followed by a torrential downpour and heavy winds.

The storm initially looked like it would miss them, Carter said.

Carter, 71, and his wife, Sharon, 58, were sitting in their two-story home on Pillsbury Road, off Route 234. A son and daughter-in-law were visiting from the Bangor area. Three grandchildren were also at the home.

The sky turned black.

“We couldn’t see anything out the windows,” Carter said.

The wind ripped off some metal roofing from their house and the tar paper underneath. The water came pouring in, he said.

He estimated that more than 100 gallons came down through the roof, through the second floor and onto the living room floor, right in front of his wife’s chair. George Carter said his wife is disabled.

The rain “was beating very hard,” he said. “The wind was blowing like crazy.”

Along with the rain and strong winds, there was golf ball-sized hail, he said.

The power went out and did not return to about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The family was able to stay the night in a dry section of the house.

“We are the type to go camping,” Carter said. “It’s almost like camping.”

They have a portable generator and were able to make dinner. Two of their grandchildren were quite shaken by the ordeal while a third did not appear fazed by it. The grandchildren went to stay with their daughter, Elizabeth Renshaw in Freeman Township on Monday night. Carter’s son and daughter-in-law stayed the night with the Carters.

More than 20 trees fell on Carters’ property alone.

Trees, utility poles and power lines were reported down in Strong, Rangeley, Kingfield and Lang Township areas in Franklin County, according to Franklin County dispatchers.

A second storm came through Monday evening with rain and heavy wind felling some trees in the Farmington area.

A large hemlock tree just missed a neighbor’s house during the original storm, Carter said.

He and other family members are grateful no one was injured.

Renshaw said she called the American Red Cross to see if they could help her parents. Family members pitched in to mop up the water, family members and a neighbor helped put the metal roofing back on, Carter said.

Her parents only have fire insurance on the house, Renshaw said.

Red Cross representatives went to the house Tuesday.

“We have provided the family with financial assistance to assist with their immediate needs for recovery,” said Justin Burkhardt, communications director for American Red Cross in Maine. “The family is free to identify what they need for immediate assistance and use it as they so desire. In the coming days, we will be following up to ensure they have a recovery plan and see if they need any additional assistance with connecting to other organizations or agencies.”

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