High Winds

We heard quite a few days ago that a major cold front would be coming through here last night, but it was only yesterday that we found out that intense storms would be part of it. We’ve been through enough high winds around here to respect them, so we got our young calf and her mother into the barn early, and kept our eyes both on the sky and the internet NOAA radar.

The internet was a better informant. We saw it coming on the screen, but not outside until at 7:45 pm there was a sudden wave of monstrous winds, enough to convince us that we needed to get the little ones up and head to the basement right away. It actually didn’t last all that long, as best we could hear from the basement, but heavy rains followed and we stayed there for about an hour as the power went off and on intermittently, and finally decided to stay on.

When we came up, the winds had calmed down but it was pouring. We saw that heavy porch furniture had been blown across the deck, and a couple of screens were off the windows, but not much else. We were concerned that the cows on pasture might have gotten out, but figuring that we weren’t likely to find them in the storm (or, if we did, that we weren’t likely to get them back into the paddock), so we didn’t go down to the pasture to check. But we did try to see what was going on down there, using lightning flashes as they came.

Finally a big flash came, and it took a moment to understand what we were seeing—or, more accurately, not seeing. We weren’t seeing the old tobacco barn. What we saw in its place was a large, fairly compact pile of rubble.

Startling, but in fact a blessing. Just a couple of weeks ago we had asked someone to give us an estimate on pulling that barn down, but he never got back to us, and now it isn’t necessary. Soon we’ll take some time to sort through the wood worth saving before carting off or burning the rest.

There was no other significant damage we saw or heard about in this hollow, but as I drove to South Fork today to take Chris over to Jerome Lange’s place, we saw many trees uprooted or broken, some utility poles that had snapped at the base, and a few places where folks with chain saws had recently cleared the road of big trees. And while running an errand I drove down a nearby road where I had heard some houses had been almost completely destroyed. It was true.

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