Hogan's Alley

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Return From The Darkness

On Wednesday last, May 16, at about 4:00 PM my area was slammed with what are called straight line bursts of wind between 60 - 80 mph. Just to the side of my house one burst, which sounded, in the classic description, like a freight train, tore a line of mature oak trees out by their roots. The big trees were laid down on top of one another in a row.

I admit it, I was scared. I headed for the windowless bathroom in the center of the house, fearful that a tree would crash into the house or smash the glass in one of the windows. Luckily, the house was just missed by the trees. The very tips of the upper branches of one just brushed the corner of the house as it crashed down. Damage to the house was limited to one broken window and a gutter at one corner of the roof which appears to have been blown straight up solely by the power of the wind. It was bent, tearing up the shingles and drip edge nearby. All in all, no big deal. Although, it did give me a new appreciation for the dangers of living in tornado and hurricane prone areas. It also made me wonder about the soundness of the decision-making process for those who choose to live in those areas.

The main inconvenience for me was that one of the trees took down the service lines between the street and my house. Much of the town was without power, but I new that even after service was restored my house would remain in the dark until an electric company tree crew could cut a clear line to my house and pull new cable. As it turned out, the power was restored at about 4:00 PM on Friday, 48 hours after the storm. Phone service, and my essential DSL service, were restored on Saturday at about noon. Cable is still not restored, about which more ranting later.

After the storm I decided to drive about a block and a half to a friend's house to see if they were alright. I found them comfortably watching a soccer game from England via satellite and enjoying a cup of tea. All their service were intact and no nearby trees had fallen. They had no idea that so much damage had occurred in the neighborhood.

The photo above, from the Ridgefield Press, shows a school bus that was trapped by falling trees and power poles. No one was injured and all the children were safely removed.

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