Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

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!

Best,
Chris
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