Life, Photos

Wind > Shed > Fence > Tree

04.29.11 | Comment?

We’ve been having some interesting weather the last week or so. It’s gone from sunny and warm, to torrential downpours with thunder and lightning, then back to sunny again on a daily basis. Yesterday morning was beautiful. The temperature was perfect, the sun was shining, and there was a constant breeze. Shortly after placing the trash at the curb (Thursday is garbage day by the way) it became apparent the breeze was a little more than a breeze. I decided to place a small patio stone atop the recycling bins, to hopefully keep everything from spilling out all over the yard. It worked. Unfortunately, the recycling guys decided at some point t0 give up (I’m guessing this was around the 50th house they got to and saw that the bins had already been emptied by mother nature), so my mighty recycling fortress still stands unnoticed, unwanted, uncollected.

The shed however, is another story.

I have been worried about the shed’s ability to withstand the weather for some time now, and Holly and I had agreed to address it this summer hopefully. I didn’t really think about it yesterday though. Instead I went about my day as usual, playing a game of zombies with Tony Mike before we each start work. Our game was going great until Holly’s hydro flickered and I lost our connection. Although I was pissed about our game ending through an act of God, I was also relieved at the prospect of not being able to work for a little while due to hydro issues beyond my control. I logged in to facebook and saw that Holly had already witnessed the power of the wind on her way to work. At the top of the skyway (which advertised “vicious winds”) something hit her windshield and cracked it.

It was around this time that I looked out the bedroom window and noticed the neighbour, Ann, looking in the direction of our shed with a worried look on her face. I ran downstairs and saw the shed doors flapping around, along with a few pieces of the paneling. At this point the power went out for good. Concerned for the safety of The Sword, I grabbed my keys and backed it down the driveway, to what I felt was a safe distance, then pushed the trampoline up against the backside of the shed to try and keep the paneling from flying off. I yelled to Ann, told her I would figure out some way to deal with the shed, and not to worry. I called Holly and explained that I didn’t think the shed was going to survive the wind, and asked if she had any suggestions on how I should deal with it. Neither of us had any idea what we could do, and instead spoke more about how incredibly loud it all was. We hung up and I walked back towards the side door. I didn’t get outside before I realized the question of how to deal with the shed was answered. The loud noises was the sound of the shed smashing through the back fence.

A short time later, while I was cleaning up the mess above, I witnessed a pair of welcome mats go whizzing through the air then smack into Ann’s side fence just moments before the entire fence seemed to get sucked into a vortex in her neighbour’s yard. The sound of her fenceposts snapping was enough to make her run outside again and look in the shed’s direction. I pointed to her driveway and her jaw dropped. Her grandson and neighbour helped me collect all the debris and move it to her garage.

I kept on cleaning and at one point had to adjust the recycling fortress. I crossed paths with the mailman on the way to the bins, he told me there was a large tree branch blocking the street around the corner. I decided to take a break after moving all the shed stuff to the back patio, and dislodging the carcass from the fence since I was still waiting for The Shawnz to show up  (I forgot to mention I called a few friends in a panic to try and quickly disassemble the shed before it was airborne, and Shawnzi was the only one able to respond, but once the power was out for good I couldn’t call him and tell him not to worry). I walked around the block to survey the damage and take the photo above. That’s the tree the mailman was talking about.

Apparently I was so busy worrying about the shed I failed to notice 5 trees falling over in the neighbours back yard. It wasn’t until I went for a walk around the block that I noticed a few had uprooted, and others snapped at the base. There was quite a lot of damage in the neighbourhood, but that post will come later (this one is just about the Cobra Crew). Shawn arrived soon after I returned from my walkabout, and we discussed whether or not there was anything else we could do. Smoking a blunt was how we decided to proceed.

Then I brought Shawn with me to further inspect the neighbourhood and check on Holly’s mom’s place. We saw a ton of power lines taken out by trees that were down or had dropped huge limbs as a result of the 90km/h winds, as well as lots of basketball nets laying on the ground. As we got further from Holly’s and closer to her mom’s, the damage seemed to be less severe. When I pulled in her driveway, I said to Shawn, “Well, everything looks just fine, but I’ll go take a peek around back.”. I wasn’t expecting anything other than her birdbath being knocked over, but I was wrong.

This is what I saw when I came around the back corner of her house. Normally there is a tall spruce tree standing in the yard, and a slightly larger pine standing in the neighbour’s. Apparently, shortly after the power went (out killing the phone) Holly’s sister, Dawn, tried to call me in a panic. When she couldn’t reach me she tried Holly, who informed her that I was dealing with our shed issue, and probably wasn’t near a phone (as she was unaware the phone was no longer working). I woke Dawn up by knocking on the door (a lot) and asked if she wanted me to take care of it with the chainsaw. She said there were insurance people coming to see it, so not to touch it. Then she asked me to fix the chainsaw while I was there, because Jeff (Holly’s brother) had used it to cut the tree off of where it was resting on the house and now the chain was off.

Shawn and I took the saw apart, cleaned it, and fixed the blade. I wasn’t able to run it after because I failed to find any chain oil, so instead I used my woodworking skills to make this sign (by woodworking skills I mean my ability to find two scrap pieces of wood and a Sharpie).

When Holly got home we went for a drive to see the damage done to the area around her house, and it was impressive. We even saw a boat on it’s side! Then we devised a plan to take care of all the junk, and move the snow blower and lawn mower to her mom’s garage. Unfortunately that plan got tossed out the window because it all revolved around us being able to use her work van, which decided not to start (even with the assistance of jumper cables) when we got to it. Angry and defeated, when drove home. We stopped and got some subs, then went home to find the power still off. By that time the wind had basically settled down, so we did some more tidying.

We’re still waiting to see if we’re going to put a claim through Holly’s insurance because it may not be worth it. In the meantime we need to find a way to protect our lawn equipment, and the boys 50 bikes.

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