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back in tornado country

Dear friends -

On Sunday morning, I learned that Lawrence had been nailed by a microburst and later by at least one tornado. (Thank you weaselmom for the timely - if not perhaps slightly ironic - gift of the tornado pin. Ha ha.) The town looks as if giants had been playing soccer, knocking over old trees like grass and tearing off bits of buildings and streetsigns like leaves, scattering them all over the place.

tatsuko_shikibu seems to have weathered the storm just fine, though she was really needy when I got home, and I did notice that one of the rugs was balled up as if hurled to the side by desperate cat claws. The house is undamaged (thank you solan_t, stuology, and adamaker for going over and checking on Tatsuko and the place), though the trees lost some branches and the carport literally exploded all the hell over the place. Yes, the same carport I just rebuilt, tied to the garage and trees, staked to the ground, and strengthened after the 10" snowfall a few months ago. Sigh.

I spent a good portion of today clearing what's left of the carport from the yard, the alley, and so on. Most of it now dwells in the trash can (which I found in a neighbor's yard). One piece had somehow flown 30 feet as the crow flies... And up 15-20 feet as that crow can fly, landing in the tree right outside my bedroom. Huh. Just as amazing is that the cars that had been parked under the carport sustained no damage, even as 6-foot lengths of steel pipe hurled this way and that on flight paths that took them far from where they'd been staked to the ground.

I spent even more time extracting a piece of my neighbor's huge tree from the trees in my back yard. It was a branch about 15 feet long and nearly 2 feet in diameter at the thickest part, hundreds of pounds, resting on the power line going to my house. That was fun. I cut it out of the trees in three parts, one of which took a funky bounce and bruised the heck out of my thigh. Thankfully, the power line is still intact.

Local folks: Did you all fare well?

Some photos of the wreckage in my back yard:

In this shot of my back yard, the yellow circle shows where the branch had been dangling atop the power line among my trees. (Yes, the shiny chrome you can see through the open garage door is the 1951 Chevy, safely indoors during the storm). The branch was part of a very tall, very old tree that lives about 30-40 feet away, across the alley. A sort of present from the neighbors.

The white lines all over the yard are pieces of my former carport; for scale, most of them are 5-6 feet long (some are longer). Inside the yellow circle are the sections of the giant branch that had been hanging from the power line overhead.

And here's a view of the tree just outside my second-story bedroom window. The thin, vertical line inside the yellow circle is part of the carport (steel tensioning rods). Yes, some 30 feet away and a good 15-20 feet in the air.

It was great to visit with some of you Seattle folks over the weekend! Many thanks to jeanineers and woadwarrior so much for offering a welcoming and comforting place to stay when Mike & Claire fell through - it was wonderful to spend so much time with you! Fun to bump into scarlettina at the Original Pancake House. weaselmom and Weaseldad, it was so good to see you after so long; you have the sweetest ferrets ever! Thank you for dinner and the lovely (and well-timed) pin. And I had several good (if challenging) talks with kijjohnson; thank you.

I hope y'all're well. Now I'm outta here: It's time to get something to eat!



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you're talking with Kij.

Sorry to hear about Lawrence's little tempest, but it sounds like faired fairly well.
Mar. 15th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's helping much.

Lawrence isn't too badly off, but I'm sad for all the lost trees.
Mar. 15th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Wow. That's amazing. It's even more amazing that the cars were OK, though it would take more than a mere tornado to dent the station wagon.

I was really glad to talk to you, too. Thank you.
Mar. 15th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
I know! The station wagon is like a tank, I swear. And it's not as if hundreds of pounds of steel weren't hurling about just inches from it, too!

I appreciate the time and talking we had out there. It was good for me, though pretty rough at the time. I must have slept 12 hours the day I got home.
Mar. 15th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
Okay, except for the thought of you going mano-a-mano with a huge branch resting on some power lines--because you know if something went sideways there, it would be a lot more dramatic than a taser--we're glad to see that your house and garage appear to be in one piece.

It's a good thing I'm not superstitious or I might have felt as if the act of buying the pin for you brought down a tornado on your house.

We loved seeing you too! So many things we *didn't* get to do, but the time spent together was good. And I'm glad the girls got to meet you--you still have your old charming ways with furkids!

Hugs, and take care of yourself, if you *will* persist in living in a place where the air can rise up and smite you. Stay safe.

Mar. 15th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
I was very careful - so careful, in fact, that it was tough to cut up the branch. I was tucked behind my own big tree in case of falling branches or wires, and my shoulder got really sore again from the odd angles of attack.

Nah, you're safe: The actual tornado was at least a block away *g*

Next time I visit, we spend more time together.

You take care, too!

Mar. 15th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
I walked back there and thought, "Didn't Chris finish putting his carport up?" Ha-ha.

Oh, and some of those by the garage I did pull from the alley. I was suprised at the lack of damage to the cars as well--that's a tornado, oh sorry--microburst--for you. I've seen them do lots of strange things during my lifetime as a Kansas resident.

Mar. 15th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for dragging some of my junk into the yard! I found yet more scattered around today, including a couple of parts on the garage roof. Sigh.
Mar. 15th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
Glad you're safe.
Mar. 15th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sir.
Mar. 15th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)

The sum total of our damage (other than the emotional damage of disposing of a dead squirrel) was a $9 hinge on the screen door (that we'd just replaced.)
Mar. 15th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
I was sad to hear about the squirrel. Glad all else went well, though!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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