Thursday, December 11, 2014

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

While it wasn't quite a twister, it got damned windy today, scarily so at sustained winds of between 65-76 mph.  Local weather stations clocked gusts of 93 mph, while at Lake Tahoe they had 70 mph gusts and people were surfing the 7 foot waves on the lake.

Right about midday our chicken coop and run started coming apart, despite our building it stand against the high winds we have here.  On the run the peak cap was torn loose.  We ran outside in the damned wind to fix it before it got worse.

Also, the wind had ripped the coop doors off, tearing one off the hinges and splitting the other in half vertically.  In this picture you can also see the daylight coming through where the peak cap used to be.

The chickens were not about to come out of the coop and I don't blame them.  We agreed that if we couldn't repair the coop right away, it was going to be another episode of '50 chickens in the house' until we could.

So we were highly motivated to do the repairs now, despite the nearly 100 mph winds.  We fixed the doors first.

Onto the coop and run roof went my husband, while I stayed below and handed up materials, worried and prepared to render first aid and call 911.

Luckily for us repairs were made and he didn't get hurt, and we retreated back to the house...where the power had gone out.  Right about then the kid was due at the bus stop, so we drove down to pick her up so she wouldn't have to walk home in screaming winds.  She was wide-eyed and told tales of the bus getting blown around and having to dodge branches coming down while the kids screamed.

We took a quick drive around the neighborhood and realized we got off lightly.  The place down the street had not one but two of their trees fall on their house.
We congratulated ourselves for having the foresight to have had the neighbor's elm trees trimmed a few months ago.

More damage was all around, like this 100+ year old barn having it's roof peeled back like an old-school sardine can lid.

Fences and trees were down.

This poor guy had his fence blow down, which in turn took his tree and felled it against his house.

One of the local parks had several trees with broken branches.

We're used to high winds here, windstorms lasting days with sustained winds of between 25-70 mph are common, so everything is built for it.  But this was ridiculous.

The shingles from this guy's house were spread in a two-house radius around his house.

We realized that most of the shingles were coming from the other side of the house and this was the lee of the house, so we drove around to the next street to see if we could get a look at the windward side of it...

...and yeah, the poor guy's house and garage was pretty much peeled down to the plywood.  He could probably gather up the shingles and put them back on, they'd come off in big hunks.

Eventually, later that night the power came back on in our area, we were luckier than other places that had no power for a couple of days.  Hopefully we've had our big storm for the year!

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