Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stormy weather -- the aftermath

Well, last night's storm really became all it was warned to be. We might be used to stormy weather during autumn and spring in this part of the country, but this was something exceptional. There's a weather station just off the coast, on the island of Hallands Väderö, and there they recorded winds at up to 42 metres per second (= proper hurricane winds) and for us personally, we took a worse beating than during the infamous storm Gudrun back in 2005. But we were still very lucky -- especially considering what happened with our trees.

All cats are fine, though irritated as we kept them in the whole day and night. Figge got back in before the storm arrived, but Mimi had managed to get out and she didn't return until the storm was over us, though she did have the good sense to run back and call for us to let her in before it reached its climax at least. It would've been really scarry to know any of our cats were out there when the trees started snapping....

[Once again, the colours in the photos look weird when I upload photos to Blogger. Some pics are worse than others. I uploaded the photos to Flickr too so you can see them there if you get as tired of the bad quality in in this blog post as I do. Confused about the name? This storm is called St Jude in Britain, but was named Simone in Sweden as it was her name day.]
As for the damage, first, a big chunk of the horse chestnut, brushing against the wall of the room my mom and I were in. Luckily, it didn't damage the wall nor the roof. We peered out through the window and while it was dark we could see it was a big branch, but it wasn't until today I saw just how big it was.

Perhaps an hour later I was with my sis in our house (the red one) and the storm reached its climax. Suddenly we hear a great thud and something hitting the wall, followed by the sound of falling glass shards. We got real worried as some of the cats like to sleep downstairs by the window, but luckily the branch had just shattered the outer glass pane. The cats downstairs were safe, albeit a bit scarred. After that we brought them all up and shut the door so they couldn't go close to the window. My sis but a board in front of her window, which is above the broken one, as she was scarred that something would fly through that one too.

It was the smaller horse chestnut that just snapped and took some of the ash tree with it.

That would be tough to move. Thank god for good neighbours with tractors: Johan cleared the drive for us in the morning so now we can get in and out. As for clearing everything up, it'll have to wait a little. Until then the cats love climbing on the new "cat furniture" (pic from after the neighbour and his son moved the big branches):

That was the most dramatic part of yesterday, the gigantic branches that just missed us. But it was of cause not the only damage.

Later in the evening, when the winds had subsided, we saw the neighbour (or rather the lights on his tractor) working by the road by Backen, our little coppice. Apparently, we saw today, two trees had fallen and one of them partially blocked the road. It doesn't look that bad in these pics as I took them today, after the canopies had been trimmed to clear the blockage.

That was the damage we could see or guess last night in the dark. Then today it was time to inspect the rest.

The first thing I spotted was the wonky arch, which we never got indoors. Luckily just tilted, not broken. Jisse (seen in the picture) is glad as the cats love to climb on it.

Then I inspected the old greenhouse, which dad had said for a year or two that he wanted to tear down and which we therefore haven't mended in years. Today it looked like this. A branch had fallen on the washing lines attached to the wall and apparently the lines were stronger than the wall.

Then second greenhouse is pretty much unharmed thanks to it being so low down, surrounded by young, strong trees. Just one broken pane, really.

But after getting back from the greenhouse, I saw something peculiar. Big chunks of cement or something behind the barn. Proper rubble that had to come from somewhere so I looked up... It's the old chimney (for venting the hayloft) that finally gave up. From the yard, you don't really see anything so it wasn't until I saw the chunks that I realised that half the chimney had collapsed.

As for the lands, well I assume some trees have fallen in Mossen, but we never looked. It wasn't too bad in the coppice. Just the two trees that fell towards the road and then another one. And one tree by Mossen had split. What we noticed the most when taking a walk to inspect the damages was the birds. They're audibly upset. Usually they don't "chat" much this time of the year, but the storm has probably disturbed countless nests and blown down many trees for them.

The rest of the gardens are pretty much ok. Just a few small trees that's been knocked over, bent down or broken. Nothing that can't easily be mended and no really valuable trees like the walnut tree dad grew from a nut or the apple trees he bought just this and last summer (which he never got to see bear fruit).

All in all, we were lucky if anything that has happened to us this horrible, shitty month can be seen to have positive sides. It could've been much worse, we were lucky the branched that snapped weren't larger and that the wind came from the south rather than the west as that helped blowing the trees away from the buildings. Nothing of great value was harmed nor was any person or cat.

But I dearly hope we won't get a storm like that again for decades!

Footnote: So why were there garden furniture outside when we knew a big storm was coming? That's stupid! Well, eh, we kind of forgot about that. Got other things to worry about right now, you know. Just remembered smaller stuff like buckets and flower pots. But the thing is, we live in the countryside with some distance to the neighbours so if anything had happened it would only hurt us. Not like in more urban areas where everyone else might have to suffer because one neighbour is too lazy or just forget to secure loose items.

1 comment:

  1. What a disaster. I am glad to hear your family and the cats are ok, and the buildings were not damaged more. I am sorry to hear that so many trees have fallen. Those trees that remind you about your Dad are the most important ones just now and in the future. They were not damaged! You are lucky to have neighbors who help you when your thoughts are occupied by Dad and you need all your energy and strength to cope with his death. Anna


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