Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Very Bad Storm and Two Bad Nights

I decided to start writing this blog with pen and paper in the dark with only candles for light
It's now just 6:00 am Wednesday Oct 27, I've been awake since around 4:00 am after hearing a loud snap and the sound of another tree crashing down. They have been falling all night long.

It all started with a phone call late Monday afternoon from Jim foretelling of a large storm moving my way, growing up in Minnesota I have become skeptical of the" WCCO radio run for the basement weather forecasting" but Jim's a pilot so I did somewhat heed his warning.
The precautions I took included site clean up, tarping the material pile and tarping the one uncompleted wall of the warm room. Actually, I felt very comfortable,the ice dam installation on the roof was done making the building pretty well water tight, I was feeling smart.

Early Tuesday morning.
I couldn't sleep with the sound of jet force winds howling through the woods and over the cabin, and I'm laying in bed worried that my site preparation was inadequate. Luckily, daylight revealed not much more then a few downed branches along with my overturned greenhouse and beat up tomato plants, so I dashed for my truck in the heavy rain to go check on the observatory.
Pulling up to the site it was very apparent I suck at tarping!I did get somewhat lucky and both tarps were at least still in the county. After a weak attempt to reinstall them in the heavy rain and wind I decided to run into town for breakfast and the county commissioner's meeting.

I was able to drive approximately 700 feet before finding the first downed tree blocking the road! Thanks to my advance planing I was now backing up the 700 feet to get my chainsaw out of the garage and during this part of the operation I managed to rip the drivers side mirror off the door by hooking it on a tree, now I'm really pissed off, I love this truck.
(Nothing cheers me up more then a 1/2 hour of cutting wood in the pouring rain) Finally it was 8:00 am and I was just sitting down for breakfast, 8:30 I'm at the meeting and then home by 12:30.

Returning to the cabin I noticed the wind had dropped and it wasn't raining so I went right back to re-tarping and this time it was going to stay on dam-it! Two hours later I was feeling better about my preparation and walking towards my truck when I looked back proudly at my work only to see a huge gust of wind from a different direction rip it all right back off. It was all I could do to just drive off and try not to cry.
Back in the cabin I went on line to check for weather updates only to find that all that work I had just done was in the eye of the storm and it was only going to get worse. They were talking about this storm as a hurricane that would break all recorded low barometric readings, so the cats and I knew what we were in for(we now share a brain).

I have sat through some very bad storms including a horrible ice storm two winters ago, but every storm is scary when you live under 2 giant white pines in a small cabin. The wind started to pick up along with the rain and the electricity flickered through out the early evening, never a good sign around here (remember this is a county that's going to hang fiber optics cable from poles, what morons. Sorry had to vent)
I was dog tired and went to bed around 9:30,we still had power but the wind was growing more fierce by the minute.
So now we're back to the start:
it's 4:00 am, I'm not sure how long the powers been out, it's cold and dark in the cabin and even the cats are nervous. That last falling tree sounded very close. It took me awhile to find a flashlight and light some candles. Looking out the kitchen window I could see something was wrong even in the pitch dark.
I opened the door, shining the flashlight up the driveway and to my surprise I found my truck smashed under a huge spruce tree. At this point and in this light it looked bent in half. Now all I could do is wait for sunrise to inventory all the damage. I wondered how bad is my truck? is the pontoon boat still tied to the dock? is the dome still on the observatory? are there trees on the observatory or warm room? how many trees are on the road? are there trees on our storage building? how long will I be without power?
A lot to think about in the cold dark cabin.

Funny, ripping the mirror off the door doesn't seem important anymore

Sad part is I think this car was going to be our first to break 300,000 miles,
now we will never know.

In daylight it was nice to see
everything held up well, observatory buildings were just fine, pontoon boat still on the dock and after sawing out the 3 miles to the storage building things were good there also. Just my poor truck which now has a squirrel running in and out because there is a half full bag of bird seed inside. He thinks he's in heaven.

It's been a rough few days in Paradise!
I have to say thanks to Arrowhead Electric, they do a great job under this kind of pressure, I might complain about my bill but they are here when needed.
Thank you all!


  1. My husband, Jeff wanted to know if your truck gets better mileage now that it's a compact. Wow, what a storm! -Missy (Jim's daughter)

  2. sorry to hear about the truck, but at least you got a good load of bonfire wood!