Shoveler clears roof on wrong house by mistake



BAR HARBOR — Andrew Flanagan is not afraid to work hard for a living. On Monday, however, he worked a little harder than normal.

Flanagan has been busy shoveling snow off roofs for homeowners worried the weight could cause structural damage or collapse. On Monday, he went to a house on Sandy Lane to do a job. “It was number 111, and she said it was the last house on the road,” Flanagan explained.

Because of the high snow banks, many mailboxes and house numbers are obscured. He proceeded down Sandy Lane. The odd numbers he could see were on the right. He spotted number 105. There was just one house beyond that.

He trunched up to the house with his ladder over one shoulder, shovel in hand and went to work clearing the roof of more than three feet of snow. It took 2.5 hours.

“I can do four or five roofs in a day, but I’ve been running about three days behind,” Flanagan said.

The problem began later that evening when he got a call from the owner of number 111 wanting to know when he was going to show up. “I told her I’d already done her roof. She described her place. I described the house I cleared. That’s when she said ‘I’m sorry that’s not the right house.'”

It seems when that road was laid out, the last house on the left side of the road got an odd number.

“It really illustrates that people need to keep their house numbers visible in case of emergency,” he said.

The self-effacing Flanagan owned up to his error on Facebook and received dozens of comments. “Everybody thought it was hysterical,” he said, “even my brother serving in the military overseas.”

On Tuesday, after doing three other roofs, Flanagan finally got back to number 111 and cleared the snow there, working until dark.

He has been unable to contact the owner of the roof he cleared by mistake but left a business card in their door. “I’m not going to charge them, but I told them if they appreciated what I’d done I wouldn’t mind $100,” Flanagan continued. “Hopefully it appeals to their karma.”

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

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