Sunday, March 14, 2010

that was one wicked bad storm

The last measurement I saw before the cable went out was a wind gust of 79 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph at the Maritime Center, which is just under two miles from our house. It was a wild day, but the wind was getting worse and worse and even though the warning was supposed to be over at 1 am, it wasn’t. It was scarier in the dark because even if we heard something crash, we couldn’t see what was going on. The cable was off about 24 hours to the minute. March 13 was wild, the early morning of March 14 was wilder, the daytime wet but not so windy.

This morning, Stanley woke me up to tell me that trees were hanging in our next-door neighbors’ power lines, and we had to figure out what we could do about it. My first thought was to winch them back toward true, but when I saw them, they were wrapped in the wires and there was no way anyone could do anything about them while the power was on. Here are some photos:

austrees in power lines 3/14/10
Here the austrees are tangled in the power and telecom lines into our neighbor’s house. He said it happened about 3 am when he and his wife heard the branch banging on his roof. (click to enlarge)

austrees in powerlines
The bigger picture of the big problems.

austrees half uprooted 3/14/10
The trees are half uprooted—it won’t take much of a gust to finish the job and take down the wires and shingles off the roof. Fortunately, the trees are relatively light since they are a willow variant and not a dense oak or maple, so hopefully if they come down they don’t damage the structure of the house. (click to enlarge)

We did call the fire department to ask them what we should do (the neighbors called CL&P). NFD said they’d add it to their list of problems for CL&P to handle, and not to, under any circumstances, even try to do anything about it because the wires are live. We waited all day, but the power company didn’t show up. With 18,000 homes without power in Norwalk alone as of Sunday morning, we weren’t surprised. I’m just getting nervous for Reneev and Ashi because it’s supposed to be pretty windy again tonight.

protected side still shows debris
This part of the patio area was relatively protected, so the debris is a sight to behold. I’m glad nothing came through the picture window. (click to enlarge)

patio mess
The wind flipped the blue glass birdbath bowl out of the ring and about five feet over onto the patio. I’m surprised that we didn’t lose any more huge branches off the pine tree—or that the pine tree itself didn’t topple, though we were told about ten years ago the tree is in great health and very sturdy. (click to enlarge)

tree fallen into the holly
One of the trees along the border of our property—fortunately one belonging to the school and not to us—toppled into our beautiful holly tree. So we now have a view of the school, which doesn’t make me very happy, but what are we gonna do? (click to enlarge)

tree stump storm aftermath
The stump, where it looks like it was just twisted off. Dad said it will probably stay this way for years since it’s the city’s responsibility to clean it up. (click to enlarge)

shingled driveway
Most of the shingles off the outbuildings are gone. The garage has been shedding its roof for years. Now we have a shingled driveway! (click to enlarge)

This wasn’t even a hurricane and the damage is appalling. I’ve never been in a hurricane (except for the Blizzard of ‘78, which was a winter hurricane, when I live in Boston), and after yesterday, I hope that’s an experience I never have. We didn’t even get the worst of the damage—far from it. It was much worse in Westport, as you can see on http://www.westportnow.com.

posted by lee on 03/14/10 at 06:10 PM

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