Friday, June 3, 2011

Tornado watch 2001 slideshow

Well well well... it's been a crazy couple of days.

As you know, there were multiple tornado warnings for my area on Wednesday. We were VERY fortunate not to be hit by any tornadoes, as the destruction in western Massachusetts is simply devastating. I realize how lucky we are, and my heart goes out to those in western Mass. that were affected. With that being said, having a tree get struck by lightning mere feet away from you is pretty horrifying.

We had no idea just how bad it was until the next day. The photos in the slideshow below are proof that Mother Nature is one fierce lady! Holy Moly! Yesterday we were able to see the spiral of bark missing from our tree a bit more clearly. I was concerned enough to call th Tree Warden in our town and ask him to take a look. We also have an interesting situation. We are not sure if the tree actually belongs to us, or our town. It sits halfway in our driveway, and halfway on the banks of a brook that is owned by the town. It's roots actually help support the structural walls of the brook. I put in a call to the Warden at about 10am yesterday, and never heard back from him. I spent the day at my Mom's and arrived back home after dark, and everything seemed fine.

Then I woke up this morning, and upon further inspection, I can see a crack, that follows the same spiral as the tree bark. Not good. So I got nervous. I called the Warden and left him a message to call me as soon as possible. I told the neighbors (A local Verizon branch) to move their cars, just in case. I called my insurance company to see if removal would be covered. The agent says it's not, I requested another copy to be sent to my house so I can re-read my policy. I seem to have misplaced mine. I called several tree removal companies to get estimates as soon as possible.

The Warden called be back and said that he seen the tree, and it definitely needed to come down. He started dancing around the issue of whether it was the Town's tree, or our tree. I finally cut him off, and said something to the effect of "Listen. I have a two year old in this house. I need this taken care of as soon as possible. I don't want to sit around and wait two weeks for you to determine that the tree is mine or not, and risk our lives for politics". He reassured me that they were working diligently to determine whose responsibility it is. The rest of the conversation he spoke as if the town will, in fact, be taking care of the matter and it's just a matter of finding out which company they will be subcontracting the job to. He actually said "you may go out for the afternoon and return to find that the tree has been removed". He also asked me to have the neighboring business leave their gate (non-existent gate!) open for the weekend so they can access the property. 

I'm praying this is a quick & fairly pain free process. 

I did go out and tear down the 6 foot flap of bark from the tree, and laid it out on the lawn to dry out. My husband, John, plans to paint something on it for us to hang in the house as a memento of our brush with Mother Nature. 

(you may want to watch on youtube site, to be able to read captions... i'm new to technology! haha)

Edit: It's now Saturday afternoon. I received a call yesterday afternoon saying that the tree was, in fact, town property and a crew would be out Saturday morning. Well, we all awoke to the wonderful sound of chainsaws at 8am today. (Yes, my nearly-2 year old was STILL asleep at 8am. No, I don't hold the universe's secrets. He just likes to sleep). Our tree is now gone. It took them less than an hour to cut that sucker down, pack  up and leave. Amazing.

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