It was exceedingly noisy inside Mary Arnold’s modest home Monday morning, but it was a good kind of noise.
A three-man crew from P&W Construction reattached the small part of the roof that did not blow off last Thursday night, and added a large tarp to the remainder of the roof to keep the rains in the forecast out until enough material can be gathered to make permanent repairs.
Arnold, a Snyder Lane resident, was sleeping during the wee hours of Friday morning when she “heard a weird noise” at about 3 a.m.
That noise was most of her roof being torn off in the high winds. She did not realize three quarters of her roof was in the driveway beside her car until neighbors and emergency responders awoke her Friday morning by pounding on her door.
Luckily one of her neighbors is Debbie Ries, who works at P&W Construction.
When Ries told her boss, Dan Parr, about the situation, he immediately offered a day’s free labor on the mobile home.
Haley Merchant, senior manager of programs at the Center for Community Resources, set the Butler Emergency Relief Initiative into motion in the hopes of getting the funds donated toward the estimated $7,500 in repairs needed to make the roof whole again.
On Monday, Mary Ann Eisenreich, the interim executive director of the United Way of Butler County, said the BERI board of directors was apprised of the situation over the weekend and does not yet have a firm cost for materials.
The board will consider the project in the coming days, Eisenreich said.
Arnold, who uses a wheelchair, was overcome Monday as the loud overhead banging continued unabated until lunchtime, but had not lost her sense of humor.
“I’m like ‘I’m glad I’m not taking a nap, dudes,’” she said.
Becoming serious as she petted her Doberman Pinscher, Chevy, Arnold was astounded at the generosity she has seen since the incident.
“In this world, when you think everything is falling apart, you look at this,” Arnold said, gesturing toward the cacophony above. “I hope I can help somebody someday.”
She said it took the weekend for the fact to settle in that her roof had blown off.
“The shock’s wearing off and I’m realizing how great people are,” Arnold said. “So giving.”
Arnold lives with her son, who also has a disability and was in the hospital Monday. She said she talks to her son on the phone every day.
“Right now I need to get this taken care of,” Arnold said.
Parr, the owner of P&W Construction and a former Butler High School and Slippery Rock University football star, was at the site of Arnold’s roofing project Monday.
Parr had originally offered to donate one day of construction on the roof, but changed his mind when he came to Arnold’s house and saw the devastation and Arnold’s condition.
“If no one else is stepping up (to work on the roof), I’ll take care of it,” Parr said.
Parr, and his Sunday golf partners, Stuart Swartz, Dennis Tilko and Jim Klutinoty, started soliciting donations from friends and business associates and by late Monday had raised more than $3,000.
The checks are being given to the United Way for proper handling. Donors names are being kept confidential.
Parr said he will donate insulation he has at his shop as well.
Crew members Jim Heasley, Joe Boyce and Roger Anthony worked efficiently atop Arnold’s home in Monday morning’s cold breeze.
“If you can’t help someone in need, what kind of person are you?” Parr said.
While Chevy and her two cats did not appreciate the thunderous banging from above, Arnold knew it was a heavenly sound.
“I’m so grateful,” she said.
Those who would like to donate toward the Arnold project can do so through the United Way at butlerunitedway.org. Donors should earmark their funds for the Arnold roofing project.