A severe windstorm on the Kenai Peninsula this week stole the roofs right off of a Sterling business and a house on its way through the area.
Jessica Burch and her boyfriend, John Schreiber, were sleeping in their home on Robinson Loop in Sterling early Wednesday morning when Burch was woken by the sound of her phone beeping, signaling that they power had gone out and come back on, she said.
The couple could hear the wind howling outside, and noise coming from their living room, where an old wood furnace pipe was still attached to the roof.
“As we walked out there… (we) watched it get sucked out through the hole and gone,” Burch said.
About 40 feet of their 69-foot trailer roof had been pulled up and bent back by the wind, exposing the beams beneath. On Thursday, Burch had several pots placed throughout the home to catch water dripping through the ceiling.
The couple has no estimate on how much the damage will cost yet, as they are waiting for someone from their insurance company to come down from Anchorage to take a look, Schreiber said. He has been on the phone with the company since the roof was pulled up, and said he’s conflicted about whether to try to fix it or start from scratch.
Just down the road, the roof of Steve Drolet’s Porterhouse Grill met a similar fate.
Drolet, who lives next to the grill, said he was woken up as well early Wednesday morning because of the storm — specifically, to the sound of the roof ripping off the restaurant.
“It sounded like an explosion,” Drolet said. “All that sheet metal being thrown all over the place.”
When the storm lifted, he called a cleanup crew and set about assessing the damage. With most of the roof gone and the floors, ceiling and other aspects of the restaurant compromised and water-logged, Drolet said he had to cancel the New Year’s Eve party he had been prepared to throw.
“We had a whole bunch of people who wanted to show up and were making reservations, so we had to cancel a lot of them,” Drolet said. “Everything had been bought, and we were all going to cook and everything was was going to be fun, and we had it all set up, and now it’s just not set up.”
He, too, is waiting on someone from the insurance company to get to Sterling and take a look. Drolet hopes to have the grill back up and running in three to four months, after which he’ll host a new grand opening, he said.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.