Yes, we had a close
encounter of the "Isabel" kind. The beautiful, aprox. 300
year-old Silver Maple in our backyard decided it was its time, and
Isabel decided it should come down on our house. Even so, the
universe was looking out for us because no was seriously hurt, and
the damage to the house was not too extensive.
Our deck got flattened, and the mud-room
off the kitchen was crushed. The same main trunk of the tree
that landed on the mud-room also smashed into the wall of Clay's
room and the roof above . He was asleep in the room at the
time and had quite a rude awakening when the double window came out
of the wall and smashed against his bunk bed, and the TV and DVD
player under his window were turned into projectiles and hurled
directly at him. The DVD player gave him quite a knot on the
head, but, miraculously that was the only injury he
The other survival story of the night was
our dog Earl who was riding out the storm in the previously
mentioned mud-room. After tending to Clay, I went down to the
kitchen and opened the door to the mud-room, only to be met with a
scene of utter destruction. I began to frantically call for
Earl, who emerged without a scratch from under the crushed
roof and three-foot wide tree trunk.
The next day we had a wonderful
out-pouring of support from our neighbors, family and friends, who
arrived bearing food, coffee, and chain saws. We trimmed most
of the tree and patched the holes in Clay's wall and roof. Of
course, we didn't have power for three days, but another generous
neighbor loaned us a generator so at least our food in the
refrigerator didn't spoil. We were able to stay at my sister,
Julie's place until the power came back on.
Here are some pictures and descriptions
of Isabel's handiwork:
|Here's the old tree with the kid's
playset and the shed in the background. It was about
four feet across at the base.
|Here's the side of the house where the
mud-room used to be. In the upper right you can see the
hole where Clay's window was and the pieces of tree sticking
out of the roof about that. That's our neighbor Todd
starting up his chain saw in the foreground.
|Here's the deck with the tree laying
across it. Though this part doesn't look bad, the part
against the house and off to the right of this picture were
torn off the house and flattened. Thank GOD the
satellite dish was spared.
|Here's what it looked like when we opened
the door to Clay's room (though at the time the wind and rain
were still howling in and we only had the light of a
flashlight). The windows were smashed and the window
frame came to rest against his bunk bed (which probably saved
his life). You can see the back of the DVD player to the
left which was hurled across the room and gave him a nasty
bump on the head.
|Here's the outside of Clay's room.
You can see how it stripped siding of the wall and damaged the
|Here's what it looked like when I opened
the door from the kitchen into the mud-room. You can see
what's left of the roof rafters and the crushed tin roof near
the bottom. Earl, our dog, crawled out from under this
without a scratch!
|Here's the side of the mud-room where the
tree hit. You can just make out the edge of the kitchen
door (from the photo above) left-of-center, above the
|Here's the other side of the
mudroom. The fact that this back wall didn't collapse is
probably what saved Earl.
|Here's the end of the deck where the
major damage was done. The house is to the right in this
picture and you can see how the deck floor was ripped off the
house and given a very hard-to-negotiate slope. My gas
bar-b-que grill was under there!