We finally made it to the house last night, the first time since storms rolled through last Friday. What we saw when we got there was way more than I expected. I jumped out to snap some pictures with my phone as another big storm was rumbling in the distance.
We were actually traveling last weekend. We decided to spend our 10th anniversary back in MI working on our old house which is sadly still sitting on the market, empty and lonely. We also got to visit with some good friends and had a great time. With no radio or tv, we were only vaguely aware of storms that had passed through back East Friday night. It wasn’t until the 9-hour drive home that we started to learn about the impact of the storms and we realized that the reason we hadn’t been able to access our cameras at the house all weekend because the power had been out.
Later we found out that the storm was actually a derecho. If you aren’t familiar with derechos, they are storms that move in fast with high straight winds and they have a bow echo shape when you look at them on the radar. Basically they are quick and fast and leave a lot of damage in their wake. We have actually had quite a few in MI while we lived there, but we’ve always been lucky to escape much damage, even though we lived on a wooded lot with a lot of older trees.
We drove down the lane, the trees along the lane were all standing which we took as a good sign, but quickly realized our property hadn’t been as lucky. A tree was down across the farm lane to the left of our driveway. Then we turned the corner and realized that our driveway was pretty unusable. At least four 100+ year-old trees were down or damaged beyond salvage. The trees we lost were a water maple, a huge spruce, a cottonwood and a chestnut. Huge trunks and limbs scattered across the circular driveway. Tons of smaller branches were also scattered around the yard.
Hard to say how long it is going to take us to clean up. The brush can be easily cleaned up tonight and then the larger limbs and trunks will have to be moved out of the way until we can decide what to do with them. Right now we are thinking it might be nice to mill the lumber and try to use it in the house, but we have to find a place that will do it and if the wood is good for it.
So there it is. Luckily the house escaped with no damage and the large cedars and magnolia that are right next to the house are still standing. The next order of business is clearing the driveways because contractors won’t even come back to the house if they can’t get through. I think we are kind of lucky that we didn’t have our chimney guy start on the chimneys on Friday, it’s hard to say what kind of mess that would have been. I’ll be putting more pictures up on the Jacks-Manning Facebook page as we get the cleanup started.