Hurricane Winds Strike

You may have heard about our windy few days experienced here in the upper Midwest.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we had wind gusts strong enough to be classified as a category 3 “Land Hurricane.”  Minnesota experienced a record low barometric pressure creating this incredible “storm.”

But I’m going to start this story with last week…

We had kind of a windy Wednesday (Oct. 20).  Knowing that our golfing days are limited this time of year, Barry and I decided to take the afternoon off to play golf, stupidly thinking it would be the best day that week.  It wasn’t.  Tuesday would have been better.  Anyway, it was probably the windiest conditions that I’ve golfed in.  You had to take the wind into account even while putting!  Barry actually played pretty well, considering….

So what’s the point?  We came home from golf that day to see a large oak lying across the backyard woods, victim of the high winds.  It had a twin that had already lost it’s top, and I guess the combination of wind, dry October and rotted base finally conspired to bring it down.

 

It was a pretty big tree – and we don’t need firewood.  Fortunately, I found someone on craigslist that wanted the wood and was willing to come down, cut it up and haul it away.  Yippee!  Gotta love it when a complete stranger does your yard work!

 

So when they were predicting even higher winds this week, I wondered if we’d lose another tree.  On Tuesday evening, I arrived home at about 4:45 and went directly to the family room to gaze over the woods and check it out.  Suddenly – BOOM!  Then a couple more crashes.  OMG!  I knew that a tree had come down on the house and went to look outside.  Here is what I saw:

The tree closest to the house had lost its top.  I think it split in two before falling and then another large branch broke off.  This branch was lying on the power line which was actually holding it up.

One had crashed into the top of the chimney,destroying it and the antenna.

And one poked a large hole in the roof that extended into the family room, piercing the ceiling right next to the family room door.  Remember – the door I was standing near when all this happened!

I think I’m lucky that it split in two and that the chimney bore the brunt of the landing.

Here are more photos:

The branch held up by the power line.

The bad boy that broke in half.

The rubble of the chimney and flue.

What a mess!

This hole pokes in right in front of the back doors – where I was standing!

You can imagine how shaky I was for the next half hour.  After calling Barry, I called the power company and State Farm and then kept freaking out whenever I heard any unexpected noise.  We lost partial power – which was a blessing – so that we could run cords all over and keep the computers running and have a comfortable place to spend the evening.  I even managed to see enough of my stupid dance show to find out the results.  Amazing given the smashed status of the antenna!  Before it got dark, B and I covered the bigger holes with tarps and bricks, rigging a tarp to cover the gaping chimney hole.

Wednesday was a day of phone calls – to get a claim number from a beleaguered State Farm agency that still hasn’t sent out an adjuster; to an electrician after the power company guys said they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything; to our “tree guy” – A & A Tree Care – who had been out earlier in the summer trimming trees (why not this one???); to a mason for a chimney repair estimate; to the guy who helped install our back door…. etc.  I’m glad I could take the day off to manage all of this.  Now it’s just trying to pull it all together, praying we don’t get any rain and hoping we hear from State Farm soon.

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