Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias

A month ago, Tropical Storm Isaias ploughed into the northeast. Connecticut took a pounding. Eversource, the deliverer of my electricity, claimed they were ready, but judging by the number of people without power and the length of time we were out, it would seem that they weren't.

We were without power for seven days and 22 hours. I bought a new generator the next day (the old one was on the fritz), so we were able to keep the food in the fridge. I grilled a lot. We flushed the toilets with water from the rain barrel. I keep five gallons of potable water on hand at all times, but even this time we ran out and had to get more.

Here's why I was without power for eight days:

two trees on the power lines
It's always here. Irma, Sandy, the October Snow Surprise. There's a rock shelf where several trees staked their roots down decades ago, but the shallow soil has left the trees that grow in this spot vulnerable to high winds. And so, they come down in the big storms.

Fortunately, my home and family were spared. But it was terrible to watch. The winds came out of the south and battered the trees like waves crashing on a beach. This grand red maple in the backyard (picture taken from my garage shortly after it happened) is the closest the damage came to my house.

red maple damaged

A cottonwood crashed across two of my neighbors' yards.

cottonwood down

An ash tree fell from a neighbor's backyard into mine.

ash tree down on rock wall
Two other trees, a maple and a birch, were severely damaged. I don't have pictures at the moment, but if I take them, I'll post them later. A leader on the maple was snapped about fifteen feet off the ground, sending it into a v-notch on a nearby tree. The crown on the birch broke off about forty feet up. It's now dangling by a fragment of xylem.

And yet this is nothing. Hurricane Laura, a category four storm, just tore up Louisiana. Many of those poor souls have nothing left. So for all my griping, I am thankful things weren't worse. If a storm like Laura came through here, the damage would've been incalculble.


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