Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Destruction of Snow/Ice Storm of 2021

The remains of my favorite maple trees
We have had a mild winter. . .that was until last Thursday when a winter storm blew into our area. We received at least six inches of snow and maybe as much as 10 inches. It is hard to report how much snow fell because wind pushed the snow into drifts. 

A section of fence that can be repaired after limb removal
Bailey, our golden retriever, loved the snow. She'd put her nose in it and make a trail. Soon after, she was rolling and running in it! As beautiful as it was, 250,000 people were without power. Temperatures dropped into the high 20s. Last Friday and Saturday, a couple inches of freezing rain topped the snow. It was so weird to walk on the snow without breaking through. The trees were covered in ice. Bailey also found she couldn't play in the white stuff with all that ice!

Sunday, we had a few tree limbs fall to the ground because the weight of the ice broke them.  The weight of the ice broke the trunks of my favorite maple trees. I purchased these at least ten years ago. They were in a gallon container and they were becoming show stoppers in the fall. All that is left of them is about a twelves inches of a stump. Limbs crashed on several areas of the fence line as well as the gate.

This branch caused no damage to the roof when it fell
We had intermittent power. We were thankful that we had a wood stove to keep us warm. Our West Linn daughter and family were not as fortunate. Their area was hit hard from falling trees. They have been without power the entire time.

They hope to have power by 11PM tonight. Cell service is spotty so we haven't been able to check in to find out how they have fared. We receive one or two text message a day. They do not have a secondary source of heat.

Monday, the temperatures began to warm. As the ice melted, Mother Nature completed more pruning. I heard more limbs crash to the ground. I watched the tops of two cedar trees land on the top of our London daughter's car. I will remember the cracking sound those limbs made falling away from the tree and the crunching sound they made hitting the car.

The smashed car
It took my husband the entire day to remove the trees and to tarp the car. Branches went through the front and back windows so tree removal was a delicate operation. The car roof is smashed. With rain imminent, tree removal was the priority of the day.  

We are fortunate that Bob has the skills and the tools to do tree removal. With so many trees down, booking an appointment for tree removal from a licensed company might happen in late March or early April! At one point during the limbing process, Bob located one windshield wiper. Maybe the blade can be reused. The wiper itself is broken.

Early in the afternoon, a friend came and used ropes to steady the trunks from falling onto my husband as he cut away the limbs. By the end of the day, Bob had cleared away all of the limbs. He wrapped a tarp around the car to keep out the rain.

Beginning the limb removal process

Mother Nature sent us some serious rain showers on Tuesday so it was good that he was able to get that far with the clean up! Monday evening, Bob reported that he isn't as young as he used to be. The effort of wielding a chain saw, pulling branches and stacking debris has taken a toll on his body. (He will be 65 mid June.) He says that he can sure tell that he hasn't been working out in the gym for months too!

We have decided that in the summer, he will schedule the removal of a number of trees on the property. We're planning ahead so that should we have another similar bout of weather, tree fallout won't cause as much damage. 

I will miss the shade and the texture three of the trees provided. They are about 80 years old. Perhaps, we will find an alternative tree that is less prone to ice damage to replace the ones that are removed.

Found one windshield wiper
In the end, we are thankful no one was hurt. The car and the fences can be replaced and/or repaired. Limb and brush removal will take months. There is so much debris that likely Bob will be hauling it away rather than burning it. There is at least three inches of green needles all around the car. 

Yesterday, Bob pulled out the generator and got it going because our West Linn daughter said they would like to use it if it worked. We purchased it more than 25 years ago used and have not needed to use it. We were both surprised that it started with a little coaxing. 

Late morning, he delivered it to their house.  He said that the main roads were bare; but the side streets were still icy and "dicy." He set up the generator and left. Our son-in-law was cooking their lunch on the propane grill. I hope our daughter and family will be warmer and that they can do some indoor cooking should they choose.

Tarped and ready for the tow
Today, Bob plans to clear the debris so that the tow truck will be able to access the car to tow it to the repair shop. It could be that the car isn't able to be repaired. The weather forecast is for a drier day than it was yesterday.

What a crazy past twelve months this has been. We began living with COVID restrictions last March. May through August, we watched the country protest about police brutality. Protestors in Portland gathered nightly for more than 100 straight days. They also threw projectiles at police officers, set fires to buildings and created chaos.

We lived through the wildfires in August. Kids continued with online learning in September. We watched the country continue to divide during the November election and divide even more before the January inauguration.  This month, February, we survived the snow/ice storm of 2021.

Surely, we have experienced enough! 


Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about all of the damage and all of the work ahead of you! But glad that it wasn't any worse. I hope power is restored for your daughter and her family soon. It's such a pain to deal with no power in the cold, made even worse when you have children! Hopefully, things are warming up and getting back to normal for you all!

Unknown said...

I just hate see8ng trees going down. But you are right enough is enough! Stay safe.


Anonymous said...

My jaw dropped as I read the news of your storm damage and your well-written synopsis of the past year. I can relate to all the damage because of our loss (three trees and three sections of fence) a few years ago during a snowstorm. I am so glad you and Bob (and your Bernina--tee, hee) are okay.

"Enough" is putting it mildly.

Hugs, Gail said...

Nancy, I am so thankful that no one was hurt. I'll miss the trees; I won't miss the clean up! Our daughter's power came on about 6:30 this evening. We all were doing the happy dance!!! I am looking forward to ordinary! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by! said...

Yes, Sharon, I'll miss the trees. I have enjoyed their shade over the years and the little bit of "forest" habitat they provided to our property. Thanks for commenting! said...

Yes, Gail. . .Joie is stitching well. Bob is sawing away. . .I've moved a few branches. . .there are a lot of branches left. The good news is that the tow truck can access the car after Bob's clean up work. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!

Mereknits said...

So much damage! Yet so much to be thankful for, power, the trees did not fall on your house, your husband has the ability to clear the area so you did not have to wait what I am assuming will be weeks to get it done. Nature is beautiful but can cause so much damage. Glad you are safe.

Janice Smith said...

Oh, my goodness. . . I am so sorry to read of your storm experience. said...

Janice, Mother Nature decided a lot of "pruning" was in order. Driving to work a couple days this week showed me our property got of relatively unscathed compared to other areas. We are warm, dry and have plenty to eat. . .life is GREAT! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! said...

Meredith, We are fortunate because we can take care of the mess on our own. . . little by little! So many people are in much worse shape than us. We are safe and life is great!