Willie Adair, right, sits on the front porch of her home on Wheeler Avenue as crews from Rosie's Restoration work to replace the roof on Tuesday. A tree fell on the home during the tornadoes on April 27, 2011, causing significant damage to the roof.Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse
It started off as another call for roofing repairs, but when Tony Owens and his crew visited Willie Adair, they couldn't just fix the roof and walk away.
"They need help," said Marsia Owens, Tony Owen's wife.
Adair, a 70-year-old grandmother, is the head of household and caregiver for her disabled 51-year-old son and her 24-year-old disabled granddaughter.
During the storms of April 27, 2011, a tree fell on her house, breaking two windows and damaging portions of the roof. Some patchwork repairs were made to the roof, but it still leaked in places.
"Water comes straight down on us when it rains. It splashes in my face," said Harold Adair, Willie Adair's son.
Raw wood from the roof showed through holes in the ceiling in Willie Adair's bedroom, causing more water damage inside the house. There also was water damage on the kitchen ceiling, where tiles barely hung on.
Then hail from storms in March broke another window, leaving another portion of the house exposed.
Willie Adair had access to insurance for repairs, but didn't know how to file the claim.
"I don't think she realized that she had damage that her insurance company would cover," said Charlie Yood, president of Rosie's Restoration. "We assisted her in filing a claim and having an adjuster to come out."
The Owenses are restoration specialists who assess property damage for the company.
Tony Owens helped her file the paperwork so insurance paid for the roofing and some interior work; the rest he's doing because he saw the need, he said.
"It was some help with the roofing, getting it done," Willie Adair said.
While roofers worked at the Adair home Tuesday, an EPB employee came to turn off the power. Adair argued with the man and said she had already paid her bill. The man said he would give her an hour to get more money before he returned to disconnect her power.
Tony Owens gave Willie Adair a check for $100 to help with the bill.
Owens' wife asked the grandmother if she needed help with some cleaning, then she brought over clothes, shoes, food and books for the entire family.
"That's all right with me," Harold Adair said.
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...