Wednesday, June 11, 2008


And that's what we're doing.

Our campground lost 13 large locust trees during a sudden, violent thunderstorm yesterday afternoon.

Miraculously, not a single RV, car, or truck was hit, and no one was injured. The seven trees that came down on campsites came down on unoccupied ones.

One tree just brushed the backs of two RV's, leaving leaves but not a scratch.

Two of the trees brought down power lines, snapping an electric pole and throwing its transformer to the ground.

An Asplundh truck came and cut the branches away from the downed lines within a couple hours, but about half the campground was without power until repairs were made around midnight.
I wish I'd been there to watch and photograph the removal of the old pole and setting of a new one.

Besides the power lines and trees, all we lost were some picnic tables. And thankfully, none of the ones Steve has recently rebuilt.

About a dozen Black Angus cattle, who live in the pasture directly behind our camper, huddled together during the storm, facing away from the wind, and continued unconcernedly cropping and munching grass while hailstones bounced off their heads and backs. Dang, wish I had a picture of that...

Steve was away and missed the show. I was home in our rig, feeling the wind rock the camper like a boat, watching trees come down outside, and pondering where I'd be safest: inside, since trees and hailstones were dropping outside; or outside, since a camper, trailer, or vehicle is the worst place to be if a tornado is imminent, as I thought it might be. I'm not afraid of storms, in fact I'm somewhat of an enthusiast, and I wasn't frightened -- considering my options was a practical, academic issue. I just kept watching out the window towards the wind and if I'd seen a funnel cloud coming, I'd have abandoned ship, but there was none. I'm pretty sure what we had was a microburst.

So today, cleanup started. It took four of us, with two chainsaws, an axe, and a lawn tractor attached alternately to a chain and a brush trailer, 6 hours to clear 2 campsites, and 5 are left.

Since no one got hurt, and no RV's or vehicles were damaged, I'm enjoying this whole experience. I'm looking forward to cleaning up some more tomorrow.

We're going to have a lot of campfire wood.


ShirleyPerly said...

OMG, it seems a miracle that no vehicles or people were injured! You are very brave to have stayed in your camper alone through that. I'm sure I would have headed to the nearest building with a solid foundation. Have fun cleaning up!

Jade Lady said...

I'm so glad you're ok and that no one at the campsite was hurt. Sounds like quite a workout for all of you doing the cleanup!

Me, myself, I get quite frightened with storms.

*jeanne* said...

Man, that looks all too familar!

After all our watches & warnings 2 nights ago, NOTHING happened here. (Much to my delight.) Just heat lightning and thunder for hours on end. (Much to my disquiet.)

Then when the sirens went off, I screamed, grabbed the cat and lay low in the basement for the majority of the night.

Yup. A brand new storm-o-phobe, me. Wonder how long it'll take THIS to wear off?

Anonymous said...

Locust is great firewood! Rivals oak in long-burning and btu output.

Good hard work! :-)

Jeff said...

Those are some scary photos. Glad no one was hurt!

It sounds like you're pretty busy, but if you have any downtime, consider this a tag. :-)

Anne said...

Wow, that was some burst. I kinda miss violent storms until I remember how much (insurable) damage they can cause. I'll stick with wildfires and earthquakes.

Glad everyone is OK, including those incredibly stoic cattle.