Tree Down!

Right about 5:00 yesterday, as I was wrapping up work, a giant thunderstorm blew through the Short Pump suburb of Richmond, Virginia. It was one of those short but really intense summer storms, and before I left, we were gathered around an office window marveling at how dark the sky was and how it looked like a hurricane. Then KC called and said I needed to get home immediately because of this:

The huge tree in our front yard had fallen due to wind, straight across the road in front of our house. Unfortunately, this was the sole way to get to about 30 houses in our neighborhood. It was also partially blocking the side road, which was a much smaller cul-de-sac.

Thankfully, no one was hurt (a near miracle since three girls were hanging out in the cul-de-sac in the storm for some reason 10 minutes earlier), and nothing was damaged, except for a neighbor’s car that had been parked across the street for three years. (In case you were curious, their car insurance is supposed to cover things like that, not my homeowner’s insurance, since this was an act of God.) The tree caved in the back window, cracked the front, and ripped up the convertible roof.

We called the non-emergency county police line, but the number was busy for at least half an hour. Not surprising, with wires and other trees down all over the area. A very helpful neighbor (shown here in white in the tree branches on the right) brought over a chainsaw, and others pitched in to drag branches out of the way. (That’s KC on the left, facing camera, talking to his new twin.)

The bright side of all this was getting to meet some other folks who lived in the neighborhood I didn’t previously know. We managed to get enough cleared that cars could get through in one lane, which made everyone returning home after work in the rain happier. The unfortunate part was all the cleanup. I finally did get through to the police, and county workers ended up coming by about 10:30 at night. (I wish they hadn’t had to, but we don’t have streetlights, and there was a possibility of someone hitting the debris in the dark. We have some younger drivers in the area, and I’m never sure how careful they will be.) They finished up at midnight, getting rid of a lot more than I expected they would, and a very helpful tree service guy came by this morning to take out the stump (taller than me!) and complete the cleanup. (Thank you, Neal Smith, of Smith’s Tree Service.) I also lost the pair of sandals I was wearing last night, ruined in the running around taking pictures so we could start the cleanup, and maybe the dress, but that’s a small enough price. It could have been a lot worse. We feel very lucky and blessed.


6 Responses to “Tree Down!”

  1. Chris Pitzer Says:

    Glad to hear you, KC and your neighbors came out of it OK. Driving home at 5 there was wicked lightning happening very close. We came out OK too. I had to medicate our one dog and then wrap her in a blanket. She HATES these storms.

  2. Johanna Says:

    It’s amazing how much happened so quickly. I was swapping stories last night with neighbors who drove through areas with power (and thus stoplights) out or huge traffic james or blocked areas. Weather is constantly surprising.

    I’m sorry to hear about your poor pet. My parents’ dog used to try and climb during storms, which meant the little thing would jump on the sofa back and then try to climb on top of your head to get as high as possible. Which at least leant some humor to their fear.

  3. James Schee Says:

    Traffice james?:) LOL glad to hear you guys are alright!

    It is freaky how much weather can do to scare us isn’t it? Living through 2 hurricanes in 5 years I’ve seen and partially experienced similar things. Never gets normal. (which makes me shake my head at the hurricane simulator in local mall)

  4. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Glad everyone is OK.

    The KC’s new twin line (and photo) cracked me up

  5. Making a Better World LinkBlogging » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] wanted to call this post “dead tree linkblogging” in honor of my deceased oak, but I couldn’t make it all about print works, which would make the pun make sense.) [...]

  6. Hsifeng Says:

    Johanna Says:

    “…Thankfully, no one was hurt (a near miracle since three girls were hanging out in the cul-de-sac in the storm for some reason 10 minutes earlier), and nothing was damaged, except for a neighbor’s car that had been parked across the street for three years. (In case you were curious, their car insurance is supposed to cover things like that, not my homeowner’s insurance, since this was an act of God.)…”

    What a bunch of reliefs! Glad to know nobody was killed, injured, displaced, or even bankrupted by this! :)

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