Monday, December 5, 2011

The Wind

Unless you've been living under a rock, you heard about the terrible winds that hit Southern California last Wednesday night. I have lived all over the country, been in 2 tornados, one hurricane (inland, anyway,) and lived through almost 20 winters in Colorado and I have NEVER been that scared in my life. The wind was coming out of the north and whipping down the mountains. Our master bedroom is on the north side of the house and I don't think that HD or I slept more than about 30 or 40 minutes at a time after about 3 am. Our chimney and bedroom window creaked so bad I was almost shocked that they didn't have any damage. The power went out around 2:30, and when we woke up with first light we found that we had lost both of our large shade trees in our back yard.

Look at my view out of the kitchen window. This tree landed about 3 feet from the window. The usual view is just grass with the tree above.

The canopy on these trees seemed to act like a parachute and lifted them out of the ground. You can't even tell in this picture where the tree was. It actually snapped about 8 inches underground.
Same tree, different view.

This is the close-up of the hole, and how far underground that the tree snapped.

This tree is on the opposite side of the yard, and the one that fell close to the kitchen window.
A close-up of the roots still partially attached, same tree as above.

Different view of tree #1. The upstairs window you see in this picture is our bedroom. With nothing to block the wind, it was s.c.a.r.y. Locally, the highest gusts were clocked at 97 miles an hour. Hurricane strength. This is not normal for our area. Yes, we have bad, damaging winds but most people I've spoken with have never seen anything like the winds on Wed./Thurs. of last week.
The above Chinese Elms weren't the only trees on our property that had damage. This branch off of the junipers was 6-8 inches in diameter. We also lost 2 large branches off of our pepper tree in the opposite corner of the yard.

This is the side of the yard where tree #1 was laying, now completely empty. This was taken on Saturday morning after the tree company came to cut the majority of the wood. HB#1 is up there helping to stack wood and do other clean up. All 3 of my guys worked really hard to get it finished. OH! Headless girl pitched in, too! (I let them do it all and cleaned the inside of the house, instead.)

The other side of the yard. It's so bare! You can, however, see the mountains very clearly now. Bright side, right?

I can't let this whole topic go without telling you how devastated Headless Dad is about these trees. He literally moped around for 3 days.

I have more pictures from around our neighborhood that I'll post tomorrow. If you thought our damage was bad, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Headless Mom


Diana said...

Sorry about the loss of your trees. :(

As a Great Lakes girl I can't help but notice that some wahoo designed your property so that your house is at the lowest point with fabulously graded land all around to funnel water right to it. o.O Even in a dry climate this doesn't seem like a terribly good idea. Do you never get rains?

Melisa Wells said...

WOW. That's crazy!
(and so odd to me, being from a place that does get windy days like this once in a blue moon--and not nearly this much damage: OUCH.)

I'm so sorry you lost so many trees!!

Rocks In The Wash said...

It's terrible that you've lost the shade trees, but very fortunate that they didn't hit the house. Glad you all were safe!

North of here they had terrible winds as well. Many lost trees, portions of their roofs, etc.. and they are still trying to get things cleaned up.


Busy MOm said...

Whoa! That is crazy, I'm glad you're all OK!

Kizz said...

It's terrible to lose so many trees. Not something you can just replace right away. We've had some crazy storms here on the East Coast in the past year and lost a bunch of trees but I've never seen anything snap off so far into the ground. That's insane!

Glad you're all safe.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That is really sad. Those were beautiful trees and I understand why HD is sad. They gave you lots of privacy along with their beauty.
I know that years ago you could write that off on your taxes, you might want to check into that. I myself went into my office and turned the TV on so I could sleep.
Only one window so it wasn't as noisy.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Holy crap, it's Hurricane Irene all over again. SO GLAD you are all safe. Is that Mount Baldy? My BIL drove us up there one year (in March, I think) and there was some snowball-worthy snow up there! Although, it would have been nice if he had told me. I didn't pack a jacket.

HolyMama! said...

I am SO GLAD y'all are ok!

i didn't know trees could snap off underground... that's really weird!

blueviolet said...

What a blessing that they didn't hit the house, and I do love the view. However, it really stinks to lose big beautiful trees like those!

Brad Pit said...
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Aaran said...

Don't cut the tree, as compare to cut, replace the tree is best way.
flood damage claim

Nadine said...

So glad the trees were the only damages. There was a mighty wind that went through Westcliffe, CO area on Nov. 12th. I'm betting it had just made its way completely around the world when it got to your place in CA. A local blogger reports here: