Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

This is the time of year down here in the South when severe thunderstorms can pop up within a matter of minutes, sometimes every day of the week. This is one of those weeks. We don't get too many tornadoes during the summer but can get very strong winds. I thought I was going to have a relaxing day after work and get caught up on a little project I am working on for the Big Fancy Architect. But you kow that old saying, "if its not one thing it's another or the same damn thing over and over". I came home from work and turned on the county road that leads to my property. I started noticing lots of limbs and things in the road. It had come a big storm on the job in Birmingham so I figured this was part of the same system. Then, as I got closer to my place, I started to see larger trees down in people's yards.......artificial flowers scattered in the road. What?... that one confused me for a minute and then I remembered that there is a small cemetary on the road. It was the arrangements that had been blown off of the graves. Then I got to the lady's land that lives across the road from me and she had 2 very large trees down. I had a sinking feeling. I called Allen and told him that I thought we needed to go check on the house. I went on up to where we are staying now and checked on Fred's place (it was OK) and headed down to the house. Allen had gotten there before me and I found his truck parked about halfway to the house. I climbed over the tree and started for the house; there were a few limbs down here and there. Then I saw this. If you look close you will notice the tree in the back in the unusual horizontal position. I thought to myself, well, it could have missed the house and just fallen in the back yard.
Nope.... Now, there are several silver linings to this that I keep repeating to myself. 1. It missed the framed and decked part of the roof. 2. the steel beam was not set yet and if it had been the force of the tree could have bent it and that would have REALLY been bad. 3. this area of the roof was not framed or decked, which would have been costly to repair. The rigging that we had put up to hoist the steel beam actually saved alot I think. It was destroyed but it slowed the tree down and so there was not alot of damage to the exterior wall of the house.
It did bust the top plates and the sheathing some and pushed the wall in several inches but it won't be too bad to fix.
The part of the tree that went in the house snapped off and fell in the kitchen area. It gauged the floor some but didn't hurt my beam! I don't know how much you can tell from this photo but it was a mess. I was hoping that the steel beam would be set this weekend and we would be framing shortly thereafter but now we have to get all this cleaned up and repaired. I did get all of the tree out of the house this morning but then another storm came and we had to quit. Allen can't get his chainsaw to run either today (which is very unusual) and so we still have the main bulk of the tree leaning on the house to get off. Well, that's the joys of country living. Sometimes stuff just happens so you just step back and take a running go at it again. It really could have been much worse.


pablo said...

A mess indeed. But as you say, it could have been a lot worse. Imagine if you had been living there now. Of course, this particular tree will never threaten your house again, will it?

Rurality said...

Holy crap! I had no idea the storm was that bad up your way. I've had my tomatoes knocked over 3 times in the past week, but other than that and a few limbs, nothing too bad here.

I don't think hubby's chain saw is big enough to handle a tree that size, but if you are still having trouble with yours, let me know and I'll ask him.

pablo said...

Heh, heh. Rurality used the word "crap"!

edifice rex said...

No Pablo, it won't. However, it may become part of the house yet. It was very nice and straight so I got Allen to cut the main trunk into 2 long sections and we might make some interior columns out of it or something.

Hey Karen! It seems that it was just really bad right around us; about a mile radius. Allen finally got his saw going but thanks anyway.

Yeah, I used that word and a few other more colorful ones the day this happened.